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Marriage Rates and Marriageable Men: A Test of the Wilson Hypothesis

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  • Robert G. Wood

Abstract

This article examines the hypothesis that recent declines in black marriage rates have been driven by a declining pool of high-earning, young black men. Using 1970 and 1980 SMSA-level Census data to estimate a fixed-effect model of black marriage rates, I find that declines in the pool of "marriageable" black men are responsible for only a small fraction of the decline in black marriage rates. My estimates suggest that this decline in the number of high-earning, young black men explains only 3 to 4 percent of the decline in black marriage rates during the 1970s.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert G. Wood, 1995. "Marriage Rates and Marriageable Men: A Test of the Wilson Hypothesis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 163-193.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:30:y:1995:i:1:p:163-193
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    1. Ben-Porath, Yoram, 1973. "Labor-Force Participation Rates and the Supply of Labor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 697-704, May-June.
    2. Richard B. Freeman & James L. Medoff, 1982. "The Youth Labor Market Problem in the United States: An Overview," NBER Chapters,in: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences, pages 35-74 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Arthur M. Okun, 1973. "Upward Mobility in a High-Pressure Economy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 4(1), pages 207-262.
    4. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "Labour Force Participation: Timing and Persistence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(5), pages 825-844.
    5. George L. Perry, 1977. "Potential Output and Productivity," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 8(1), pages 11-60.
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