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“Why Not Settle Down Already?” A Quantitative Analysis Of The Delay In Marriage

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  • Cezar Santos
  • David Weiss

Abstract

A striking change in American society in the last 40 years has been the decline and delay in marriage. The fraction of young adults who have never been married increased significantly between 1970 and 2000. Idiosyncratic labor income volatility also rose. We establish a quantitatively important link between these facts. If marriage involves consumption commitments, then a rise in income volatility delays marriage. We quantitatively assess this hypothesis vis‐à‐vis others in the literature. Increased volatility accounts for about 20% of the observed delay in marriage and is strong relative to other mechanisms.

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  • Cezar Santos & David Weiss, 2016. "“Why Not Settle Down Already?” A Quantitative Analysis Of The Delay In Marriage," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 57, pages 425-452, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:iecrev:v:57:y:2016:i::p:425-452
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    Cited by:

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    2. William A.V. Clark & Daichun Yi, 2020. "Transitions to partnership and parenthood: Is China still traditional?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 43(6), pages 143-168.
    3. Marcel Fischer & Natalia Khorunzhina, 2019. "Housing Decision With Divorce Risk," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1263-1290, August.
    4. Salvador Ortigueira & Nawid Siassi, . "The U.S. Tax-Transfer System and Low-Income Households: Savings, Labor Supply, and Household Formation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Chiara L. Comolli & Daniele Vignoli, 2019. "Spread-ing uncertainty, shrinking birth rates," Econometrics Working Papers Archive 2019_08, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti".
    6. Hye Mi You, 2018. "Marriage, Working Spouses, and Male Wage Volatility," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 34, pages 101-115.
    7. Salvador Ortigueira & Nawid Siassi, . "The U.S. Tax-Transfer System and Low-Income Households: Savings, Labor Supply, and Household Formation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Karen A. Kopecky, 2019. "The Wife's Protector: A Quantitative Theory Linking Contraceptive Technology with the Decline in Marriage," Working Papers wp2019_1912, CEMFI.
    9. Elyakim Kislev, 2020. "Social Capital, Happiness, and the Unmarried: a Multilevel Analysis of 32 European Countries," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 15(5), pages 1475-1492, November.
    10. Nawid Siassi, 2019. "Inequality and the Marriage Gap," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 31, pages 160-181, January.
    11. Brotherhood, Luiz & Delalibera, Bruno R., 2020. "Minding the gap between schools and universities," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 120(C).
    12. Pavel Jelnov, 2018. "A New Estimator of Search Duration and Its Application to the Marriage Market," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 80(6), pages 1089-1116, December.
    13. Fabio Blasutto, 2020. "Cohabitation vs Marriage: Mating Strategies by Education in the USA," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2020023, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    14. Elyakim Kislev, 0. "Social Capital, Happiness, and the Unmarried: a Multilevel Analysis of 32 European Countries," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 0, pages 1-18.
    15. Nezih Guner & Christopher Rauh & Elizabeth Caucutt, 2017. "Is Marriage for White People? Incarceration and the Racial Marriage Divide," 2017 Meeting Papers 779, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. Grey Gordon, 2019. "Efficient Computation with Taste Shocks," Working Paper 19-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    17. Sommer, Kamila, 2016. "Fertility choice in a life cycle model with idiosyncratic uninsurable earnings risk," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 27-38.

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