Delayed Entry into First Marriage: Further Evidence on the Becker-Landes-Michael Hypothesis
In their pioneering research, Becker, Landes and Michael (1977) found that beyond age 30 there is a positive relationship between women's age at first marriage and marital instability. They interpreted this finding as a "poor-match" effect emerging as the biological clock begins to tick. In analyses of the 2006-2010 National Surveys of Family Growth (NSFG), we find evidence of the existence of this effect: women who delay marriage disproportionately make unconventional matches, which are generally associated with high marital instability (N = 3,184). We also find, however, that their unions are very solid. We develop and test competing hypotheses that can account for these patterns. In addition, noting that women's delayed transition to first marriage has been accompanied by higher proportions of women entering marriage with 16 years of schooling or more, we examine changes across the last three NSFG cycles in the education - marital instability association.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published in: Demographic Research, 2013, 29 (20), 521-542|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Torkild Lyngstad & Marika Jalovaara, 2010. "A review of the antecedents of union dissolution," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 23(10), pages 257-292, August.
- Jay Teachman, 2002. "Stability across cohorts in divorce risk factors," Demography, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 331-351, May.
- Christine Schwartz & Robert Mare, 2005. "Trends in educational assortative marriage from 1940 to 2003," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 621-646, November.
- Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2007.
"Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces,"
NBER Working Papers
12944, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2007. "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces," IZA Discussion Papers 2602, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2007. "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces," CEPR Discussion Papers 6144, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2007. "Marriage and divorce: changes and their driving forces," Working Paper Series 2007-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- Guiping Liu, 2002. "How premarital children and childbearing in current marriage influence divorce of Swedish women in their first marriages," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 7(10), pages 389-406, August.
- Fernández, Raquel & Rogerson, Richard, 2000.
"Sorting and Long-Run Inequality,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2352, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 2000. "Sorting and Long-Run Inequality," NBER Working Papers 7508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Fernandez, R. & Rogerson, R., 1999. "Sorting and Long-Run Inequality," Working Papers 99-22, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Thomas Lemieux, 2008.
"The changing nature of wage inequality,"
Journal of Population Economics,
Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 21-48, January.
- Lehrer, Evelyn L., 2006.
"Age at Marriage and Marital Instability: Revisiting the Becker-Landes-Michael Hypothesis,"
IZA Discussion Papers
2166, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Evelyn Lehrer, 2008. "Age at marriage and marital instability: revisiting the Becker–Landes–Michael hypothesis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 463-484, April.
- Robert B. Ekelund Jr. & Robert F. Hebert & Robert D. Tollison, 2008. "The Marketplace of Christianity," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550717, June.
- Michael Svarer, 2004. "Is Your Love in Vain? Another Look at Premarital Cohabitation and Divorce," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
- Gordon B. Dahl, 2005.
"Early Teen Marriage and Future Poverty,"
NBER Working Papers
11328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Zhenchao Qian, 1998. "Changes in assortative mating: The impact of age and education, 1970–1890," Demography, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 279-292, August.
- Teresa Martin & Larry Bumpass, 1989. "Recent trends in marital disruption," Demography, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 37-51, February.
- Melvyn G. Coles & Marco Francesconi, 2011. "On The Emergence Of Toyboys: The Timing Of Marriage With Aging And Uncertain Careers," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(3), pages 825-853, 08.
- Becker, Gary S & Landes, Elisabeth M & Michael, Robert T, 1977. "An Economic Analysis of Marital Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1141-87, December.
- Boheim, Rene & Ermisch, John, 2001. " Partnership Dissolution in the UK--The Role of Economic Circumstances," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(2), pages 197-208, May.
- Evelyn Lehrer & Carmel Chiswick, 1993. "Religion as a determinant of marital stability," Demography, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 385-404, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6729. 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: (Mark Fallak)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.