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On Population Structure and Marriage Dynamics

  • Giolito, Eugenio P.

    ()

    (Universidad Alberto Hurtado)

I develop an equilibrium, two-sided search model of marriage with endogenous population growth to study the interaction between fertility, the age structure of the population and the age at first marriage of men and women. Within a simple two-period overlapping generation model I show that, given an increase of the desired number of children, age at marriage is affected through two different channels. First, as population growth increases, the age structure of the population produces a thicker market for young people, inducing early marriages. The second channel comes from differential fecundity: if the desired number of children is not feasible for older women, women tend to marry younger and men older, with single men outnumbering single women in equilibrium. Using an extended version of the model to a finite number of periods and fertility data, I show that two mechanisms described above may have acted as persistence mechanisms after the U.S “baby boom”. I show that demographic transitional dynamics after the baby boom may account for approximately a 23% of the increase in men's age of marriage between 1985 and 2009, albeit the impact on women's age is small.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5224.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics: Advances in Macroeconomics, 2010, 10 (1), Article 33
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5224
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  1. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2002. "Why Do Women Wait? Matching, Wage Inequality, and the Incentives for Fertility Delay," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 815-855, October.
  2. Javier Díaz-Giménez & Eugenio Giolito, 2011. "Gender Differences and the Timing of first Marriages," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv274, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
  3. Bergstrom, T. & Bagnali, M., 1991. "Courtship as a Waiting Game," Papers 91-3, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  4. Linda Y. Wong, 2003. "Structural Estimation of Marriage Models," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 699-728, July.
  5. Lena Edlund, 1999. "Son Preference, Sex Rations, and Marriage Patterns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1275-1304, December.
  6. An, Mark Yuying, 1995. "Logconcavity versus Logconvexity: A Complete Characterization," Working Papers 95-03, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  7. Eugenio Giolito, 2004. "A Search Model of Marriage with Differential Fecundity," Labor and Demography 0402007, EconWPA.
  8. BLOCH, Francis & RYDER, Harl, 1994. "Two-Sided Search, Marriages and Matchmakers," CORE Discussion Papers 1994028, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Shannon N. Seitz, 2002. "Accounting for Racial Differences in Marriage and Employment," Working Papers 1009, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  10. Burdett, Kenneth & Coles, Melvyn G, 1999. "Long-Term Partnership Formation: Marriage and Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F307-34, June.
  11. Steven Stern & Michael J. Brien & Lee A. Lillard, 1999. "Cohabitation, Marriage, and Divorce in a Model of Match Quality," Virginia Economics Online Papers 322, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  12. Lones Smith, 2006. "The Marriage Model with Search Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(6), pages 1124-1146, December.
  13. Michele Tertilt, 2005. "Polygyny, Fertility, and Savings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1341-1370, December.
  14. Coles, Melvyn & Francesconi, Marco, 2007. "On the Emergence of Toyboys: Equilibrium Matching with Ageing and Uncertain Careers," IZA Discussion Papers 2612, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn G, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-68, February.
  16. Tracy J. Cornelius, 2003. "A Search Model of Marriage and Divorce," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 135-155, January.
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