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Income Prospects and Age-at-Marriage

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  • Bergstrom, Ted
  • Schoeni, Robert F

Abstract

This paper provides an empirical investigation of a theoretical model of the marriage market. In the model, women are valued more for their ability to bear children and men are valued more for their ability to make money. Men cannot reveal their labor market ability to potential spouses until they enter the labor force. At the same time, the relevant information for evaluating females as spouses is revealed at a younger age. The model predicts that the income of males will be positively associated with age-at-first-marriage. We find empirical support for the model. However, we also find the association between male earnings and age-at-first-marriage becomes negative for those who married after age 30, which was not predicted by the model. Consistent with the model, we do not find a strong relationship between earnings and age-at-first-marriage among females.

Suggested Citation

  • Bergstrom, Ted & Schoeni, Robert F, 1996. "Income Prospects and Age-at-Marriage," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(2), pages 115-130, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:9:y:1996:i:2:p:115-30
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1992. "Marriage, Motherhood, and Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(2), pages 233-255.
    2. Lam, David & Schoeni, Robert F, 1993. "Effects of Family Background on Earnings and Returns to Schooling: Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 710-740, August.
    3. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Bagnoli, Mark, 1993. "Courtship as a Waiting Game," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 185-202, February.
    4. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-846, July-Aug..
    5. Keeley, Michael C, 1977. "The Economics of Family Formation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(2), pages 238-250, April.
    6. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 11-26, Part II, .
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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