IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_2940.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Women's Education and Family Behavior: Trends in Marriage, Divorce and Fertility

Author

Listed:
  • Adam Isen
  • Betsey Stevenson

Abstract

This paper examines how marital and fertility patterns have changed along racial and educational lines for men and women. Historically, women with more education have been the least likely to marry and have children, but this marriage gap has eroded as the returns to marriage have changed. Marriage and remarriage rates have risen for women with a college degree relative to women with fewer years of education. However, the patterns of, and reasons for, marriage have changed. College educated women marry later, have fewer children, are less likely to view marriage as “financial security”, are happier in their marriages and with their family life, and are not only the least likely to divorce, but have had the biggest decrease in divorce since the 1970s compared to women without a college degree. In contrast, there have been fewer changes in marital patterns by education for men.

Suggested Citation

  • Adam Isen & Betsey Stevenson, 2010. "Women's Education and Family Behavior: Trends in Marriage, Divorce and Fertility," CESifo Working Paper Series 2940, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2940
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp2940.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Betsey Stevenson, 2007. "The Impact of Divorce Laws on Marriage-Specific Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 75-94.
    2. David S. Loughran & Julie M. Zissimopoulos, 2009. "Why Wait?: The Effect of Marriage and Childbearing on the Wages of Men and Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
    3. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2009. "Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23, pages 231-276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Ronald Rindfuss & S. Morgan & Kate Offutt, 1996. "Education and the changing age pattern of American fertility: 1963–1989," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 33(3), pages 277-290, August.
    5. Samuel H. Preston & Caroline Sten Hartnett, 2008. "The Future of American Fertility," NBER Working Papers 14498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2006. "The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 133-156, Fall.
    7. Claudia Goldin, 2004. "The Long Road to the Fast Track: Career and Family," NBER Working Papers 10331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2002. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 730-770, August.
    9. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time Over Five Decades," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 969-1006.
    10. Claudia Goldin, 2006. "The Quiet Revolution That Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 1-21, May.
    11. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2007. "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 27-52, Spring.
    12. Steven Martin, 2000. "Diverging fertility among U.S. women who delay childbearing past age 30," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(4), pages 523-533, November.
    13. Christine Schwartz & Robert Mare, 2005. "Trends in educational assortative marriage from 1940 to 2003," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(4), pages 621-646, November.
    14. Joseph P. Newhouse, 1992. "Medical Care Costs: How Much Welfare Loss?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 3-21, Summer.
    15. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
    16. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko & Raven E. Saks, 2005. "Why Have Housing Prices Gone Up?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 329-333, May.
    17. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2008. "Transitions: Career and Family Life Cycles of the Educational Elite," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 363-369, May.
    18. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1997. "Swimming Upstream: Trends in the Gender Wage Differential in 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 1-42, January.
    19. Robert A. Pollak, 2005. "Bargaining Power in Marriage: Earnings, Wage Rates and Household Production," NBER Working Papers 11239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Steven P. Martin, 2006. "Trends in Marital Dissolution by Women's Education in the United States," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 15(20), pages 537-560.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Adam Isen & Betsey Stevenson, 2010. "Women's Education and Family Behavior: Trends in Marriage, Divorce and Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Demography and the Economy, pages 107-140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Chinhui Juhn & Kristin McCue, 2017. "Specialization Then and Now: Marriage, Children, and the Gender Earnings Gap across Cohorts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 183-204, Winter.
    3. Martha J. Bailey & Brad Hershbein & Amalia R. Miller, 2012. "The Opt-In Revolution? Contraception and the Gender Gap in Wages," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 225-254, July.
    4. Chinhui Juhn & Kristin McCue, 2015. "Selection and Specialization in the Evolution of Marriage Earnings Gaps," Working Papers 15-36, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    5. Jisoo Hwang, 2016. "Housewife, “gold miss,” and equal: the evolution of educated women’s role in Asia and the U.S," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(2), pages 529-570, April.
    6. Keller, Elisa, 2019. "Labor supply and gender differences in occupational choice," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 221-241.
    7. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2017. "Family Economics Writ Large," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1346-1434, December.
    8. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Georgi Kocharkov & Cezar Santos, 2016. "Technology and the Changing Family: A Unified Model of Marriage, Divorce, Educational Attainment, and Married Female Labor-Force Participation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 1-41, January.
    9. Rania Gihleb, 2014. "Educational Homogamy and Assortative Mating Have Not Increased," Working Paper 6052, Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh.
    10. Katie R. Genadek & Sarah M. Flood & Joan Garcia Roman, 2016. "Trends in Spouses’ Shared Time in the United States, 1965–2012," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(6), pages 1801-1820, December.
    11. Alicia H. Munnell & Geoffrey Sanzenbacher & Alice Zulkarnain, 2020. "What Factors Explain the Decline in Widowed Women’s Poverty?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(5), pages 1881-1902, October.
    12. Hanzhe Zhang, 2017. "Higher Career Cost Can Actually Explain Why More Women Than Men Go to College," Working Papers 2017-064, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    13. Suqin Ge & Fang Yang, 2013. "Accounting For The Gender Gap In College Attainment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 478-499, January.
    14. Arun S. Hendi, 2019. "Proximate Sources of Change in Trajectories of First Marriage in the United States, 1960–2010," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(3), pages 835-862, June.
    15. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak & Jenna Stearns, 2016. "Family Inequality: Diverging Patterns in Marriage, Cohabitation, and Childbearing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 79-102, Spring.
    16. Bhalotra, Sonia & Venkataramani, Atheendar & Walther, Selma, 2018. "Fertility and labor market responses to reductions in mortality," ISER Working Paper Series 2018-15, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    17. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak, 2007. "The American Family and Family Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 3-26, Spring.
    18. Zheng, Shilin & Duan, Yuwei & Ward, Michael R., 2019. "The effect of broadband internet on divorce in China," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 99-114.
    19. Jennifer Montez & Erika Sabbath & M. Glymour & Lisa Berkman, 2014. "Trends in Work–Family Context Among U.S. Women by Education Level, 1976 to 2011," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 33(5), pages 629-648, October.
    20. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2017. "Family Economics Writ Large," Working Papers wp2018_1706, CEMFI.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    marriage; divorce; fertility; education;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2940. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Klaus Wohlrabe). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.