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The impact of Internet diffusion on marriage rates: evidence from the broadband market

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  • Andriana Bellou

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Abstract

The Internet has the potential to reduce search frictions by allowing individuals to identify faster a larger set of available options that conform to their preferences. One market that stands to benefit from this process is that of marriage. This paper empirically examines the implications of Internet diffusion in the USA since the 1990s on one aspect of this market—marriage rates. Exploring sharp temporal and geographic variation in the pattern of consumer broadband adoption, I find that the latter has significantly contributed to increased marriage rates among 21–30 year-old individuals. A number of tests suggest that this relationship is causal and that it varies across demographic groups potentially facing thinner marriage markets. I also provide some suggestive evidence that Internet has likely crowded out other traditional meeting venues, such as through family and friends. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

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  • Andriana Bellou, 2015. "The impact of Internet diffusion on marriage rates: evidence from the broadband market," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 265-297, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:28:y:2015:i:2:p:265-297
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-014-0527-7
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    1. Internet and marriage markets
      by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2013-05-11 15:21:00

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    3. Briglauer, Wolfgang & Dürr, Niklas S. & Falck, Oliver & Hüschelrath, Kai, 2019. "Does state aid for broadband deployment in rural areas close the digital and economic divide?," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 68-85.
    4. Billari, Francesco C. & Giuntella, Osea & Stella, Luca, 2017. "Does Broadband Internet Affect Fertility?," IZA Discussion Papers 10935, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Rosa Sanchis-Guarner & José Montalbán & Felix Weinhardt, 2021. "Home Broadband and Human Capital Formation," CESifo Working Paper Series 8846, CESifo.
    6. Nikolaos Askitas & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2015. "The internet as a data source for advancement in social sciences," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 2-12, April.
    7. Liu, Jindian & Cheng, Mingwang & Wei, Xinyu & Yu, Ning Neil, 2020. "The Internet-driven sexual revolution in China," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 153(C).
    8. Melanie Guldi & Chris M. Herbst, 2017. "Offline effects of online connecting: the impact of broadband diffusion on teen fertility decisions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 69-91, January.
    9. Anelli, Massimo & Giuntella, Osea & Stella, Luca, 2019. "Robots, Labor Markets, and Family Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 12820, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Zheng, Shilin & Duan, Yuwei & Ward, Michael R., 2019. "The effect of broadband internet on divorce in China," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 99-114.
    11. Pénard, Thierry & Poussing, Nicolas & Suire, Raphaël, 2013. "Does the Internet make people happier?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 105-116.
    12. Simionescu, Mihaela & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2017. "Big Data and Unemployment Analysis," GLO Discussion Paper Series 81, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    13. Linus Andersson, 2019. "Online Distance Education and Transition to Parenthood Among Female University Students in Sweden," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 35(4), pages 795-823, October.
    14. Lucia Kureková & Miroslav Beblavý & Anna Thum-Thysen, 2015. "Using online vacancies and web surveys to analyse the labour market: a methodological inquiry," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-20, December.
    15. Kasey Buckles & Melanie E. Guldi & Lucie Schmidt, 2019. "Fertility Trends in the United States, 1980-2017: The Role of Unintended Births," NBER Working Papers 25521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Canzian, Giulia & Poy, Samuele & Schüller, Simone, 2019. "Broadband upgrade and firm performance in rural areas: Quasi-experimental evidence," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 87-103.
    17. Sarafidis, Vasilis, 2016. "Neighbourhood GMM estimation of dynamic panel data models," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 526-544.
    18. Sheena Murray, 2020. "How broadband and cell phone access have impacted marriage and divorce in the US," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 431-459, June.
    19. Michael DiNardi & Melanie Guldi & David Simon, 2019. "Body weight and Internet access: evidence from the rollout of broadband providers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 877-913, July.
    20. Maria Sironi & Ridhi Kashyap, 2020. "Internet Access and Partnership Formation in the United States," DoQSS Working Papers 20-16, Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Internet; Broadband; Marriage; Search; J11; J12; D12; R11; O33;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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