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Making Big Changes: The Impact of Moves on Marriage among U.S. Army Personnel

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  • Susan Payne Carter
  • Abigail Wozniak

Abstract

We use exogenously determined, long-distance relocations of U.S. Army soldiers to investigate the impact of moving on marriage. We find that marriage rates increase sharply around the time of a move in an event study analysis. Reduced form exposure analysis reveals that an additional move over a five year period increases the likelihood of marriage by 14 percent. Moves increase childbearing by a similar magnitude, suggesting that marriages induced by a move are formed with long-term intentions. These findings are consistent with a model where the marriage decision is costly and relocation lowers the costs to making this decision. Our results have implications for understanding how people make major life decisions such as marriage, as well as the cost of migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan Payne Carter & Abigail Wozniak, 2018. "Making Big Changes: The Impact of Moves on Marriage among U.S. Army Personnel," NBER Working Papers 24300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24300
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    Cited by:

    1. Carter, Susan Payne & Swisher, Ryan D., 2020. "The effect of moving away from home on employee retention: Evidence among U.S. army soldiers," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(C).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • 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
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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