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The Relationship Between Marriage Market Prospects and Never-Married Motherhood

  • Derek Neal
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    Many studies document a clear relationship between the supply of marriageable men and marriage rates, but few studies find that the supply of marriageable men affects the number of women who choose to be single mothers. The model presented here addresses this puzzle. Many women view either marriage or single motherhood as an inframarginal choice because a third option, remaining single without children, is relatively attractive to them. Regression models that implicitly treat all women as potential mothers, who simply choose whether to raise children inside or outside marriage, may yield false inferences concerning the relationship between marriage markets prospects and family structure choices.

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    File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/XXXIX/4/938
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    Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:39:y:2004:i:4:p938-957
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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    1. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L & Katz, Michael L, 1996. "An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 277-317, May.
    2. 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.
    3. Michael J. Brien, 1997. "Racial Differences in Marriage and the Role of Marriage Markets," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 741-778.
    4. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Cornes, Richard C, 1983. "Independence of Allocative Efficiency from Distribution in the Theory of Public Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1753-65, November.
    5. David Lam, 1988. "Marriage Markets and Assortative Mating with Household Public Goods: Theoretical Results and Empirical Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 462-487.
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