America's settling down: How better jobs and falling immigration led to a rise in marriage, 1880–1930
The early 20th century was a period of rising marriage rate and falling age at marriage. This was due to two factors affecting men. First, men's improving labor market prospects made them more attractive as marriage partners. Second, immigration had a dynamic effect on search costs. In the short-run, it fragmented the marriage market, making it harder to find a partner of one's preferred background. The high search costs led to less marriage and later marriage in the 1890s. In the long-run, as immigration declined, immigrants' descendants integrated with American society. This reduced search costs and increased the marriage rate.
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