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Changing the Price of Marriage: Evidence from Blood Test Requirements

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  • Kasey Buckles
  • Melanie Guldi
  • Joseph Price

Abstract

We use state repeals of blood test requirements (BTRs) for a marriage license that occurred between 1980 and 2008 to examine the impact of changes in the price of marriage on the marriage decision. Using a within-group estimator that holds constant state and year effects and exploits variation in the repeal dates of BTRs across states, we find that BTRs are associated with a 6.1 percent decrease in marriage licenses issued by a state. This main finding is supported with results from individual-level marriage license and Current Population Survey data. The largest effects are found for lower socioeconomic groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Kasey Buckles & Melanie Guldi & Joseph Price, 2011. "Changing the Price of Marriage: Evidence from Blood Test Requirements," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(3), pages 539-567.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:46:y:2011:iii:1:p:539-567
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    Cited by:

    1. Prashant Bharadwaj, 2015. "Impact of Changes in Marriage Law: Implications for Fertility and School Enrollment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(3), pages 614-654.
    2. Mircea Trandafir, 2014. "The Effect of Same-Sex Marriage Laws on Different-Sex Marriage: Evidence From the Netherlands," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(1), pages 317-340, February.
    3. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert, 2013. "Cohabitation and the Uneven Retreat from Marriage in the U.S., 1950-2010," IZA Discussion Papers 7607, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Scott Hankins & Mark Hoekstra, 2011. "Lucky in Life, Unlucky in Love?: The Effect of Random Income Shocks on Marriage and Divorce," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(2), pages 403-426.
    5. Fletcher, Jason M. & Polos, Jessica, 2017. "Nonmarital and Teen Fertility," IZA Discussion Papers 10833, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Joelle Abramowitz & Marcus Dillender, 2017. "Considering the Use of Stock and Flow Outcomes in Empirical Analyses: An Examination of Marriage Data," Working Papers 17-64, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    7. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak, 2014. "Cohabitation and the Uneven Retreat from Marriage in the United States, 1950–2010," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital in History: The American Record, pages 241-272 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Randall Wright, 2014. "Marriage, Markets and Money: A Coasian Theory of Household Formation," 2014 Meeting Papers 237, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Edlund, Lena & Machado, Cecilia, 2015. "How the other half lived: Marriage and emancipation in the age of the Pill," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 295-309.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • K36 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Family and Personal Law

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