IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/red/sed011/921.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Why Not Settle Down Already? A Quantitative Question

Author

Listed:
  • David Weiss

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Cezar Santos

    (University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

One of the most striking changes in American society over the last 40 years has been the decline and delay in marriage. The fraction of young men and women who have never been married has steadily and significantly increased since before 1970. The economics literature has also noted a rise in labor market volatility over this period. The first contribution of this paper is that we propose a new hypothesis: that these two events are linked. Specifically, if marriage involves consumption commitments, then a rise in volatility in income processes could result in a delay in marriage. The second contribution is to assess this new hypothesis vis-à-vis others in the literature, using an estimated structural model. We find that the decrease in the price of home inputs explains a little over a third of the data. The decrease in the gender wage gap explains a third of the data. Rising income volatility explains a little under a third of the data. All three of these stories are needed in order to provide a satisfactory explanation to the question of why young adults are delaying marriage.

Suggested Citation

  • David Weiss & Cezar Santos, 2011. "Why Not Settle Down Already? A Quantitative Question," 2011 Meeting Papers 921, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:921
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2011/paper_921.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gregory D. Hess, 2004. "Marriage and Consumption Insurance: What's Love Got to Do with It?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 290-318, April.
    2. Orazio Attanasio & Hamish Low & Virginia Sánchez-Marcos, 2008. "Explaining Changes in Female Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1517-1552, September.
    3. Andrew Postlewaite & Larry Samuelson & Dan Silverman, 2008. "Consumption Commitments and Employment Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(2), pages 559-578.
    4. Raj Chetty & Adam Szeidl, 2007. "Consumption Commitments and Risk Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 831-877.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555, Elsevier.
    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. Edlund, Lena Cecilia & Machado, Cecilia, 2009. "Marriage and Emancipation in The Age of The Pill," CEPR Discussion Papers 7485, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "Unequal We Stand: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in the United States: 1967-2006," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 15-51, January.
    11. Eugene Choo & Aloysius Siow, 2006. "Who Marries Whom and Why," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 175-201, February.
    12. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 2006. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 163-193.
    13. Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Jacob Short & Ferdinando Regalia, 2010. "What Accounts for the Increase in the Number of Single Households?," 2010 Meeting Papers 995, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Fatih Karahan & Serdar Ozkan, 2009. "On the Persistence of Income Shocks over the Life Cycle: Evidence and Implications, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 10-012, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 05 Apr 2010.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Ricardo Marto, 2021. "The Great Transition: Kuznets Facts for Family-Economists," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 33, Economie d'Avant Garde.
    2. Salvador Ortigueira & Nawid Siassi, 2022. "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, vol. 44, pages 184-210, April.
    3. Elizabeth Caucutt & Nezih Guner & Christopher Rauh, 2018. "Is Marriage for White People? Incarceration, Unemployment, and the Racial Marriage Divide," Working Papers 2018-074, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. George-Levi Gayle & Prasanthi Ramakrishnan & Mariana Odio-Zúñiga, 2021. "Work, Leisure, and Family: From the Silent Generation to Millennials," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 103(4), pages 385-424, October.
    8. Salvador Ortigueira & Nawid Siassi, 2022. "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, vol. 44, pages 184-210, April.
    9. 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).
    10. Paz-Pardo, Gonzalo, 2021. "Homeownership and portfolio choice over the generations," Working Paper Series 2522, European Central Bank.
    11. Hye Mi You, 2018. "Marriage, Working Spouses, and Male Wage Volatility," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 34, pages 101-115.
    12. 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.
    13. Fabio Blasutto & Egor Kozlov, 2020. "(Changing) Marriage and Cohabitation Patterns in the US: do Divorce Laws Matter?," 2020 Papers pbl245, Job Market Papers.
    14. 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".
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. Grey Gordon, 2019. "Efficient Computation with Taste Shocks," Working Paper 19-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

    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. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 681-722, August.
    2. 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(2), pages 425-452, May.
    3. 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.
    4. Andrew Shephard, 2019. "Marriage market dynamics, gender, and the age gap," PIER Working Paper Archive 19-003, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    5. Rania Gihleb & Osnat Lifshitz, 2022. "Dynamic Effects of Educational Assortative Mating on Labor Supply," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 46, pages 302-327, October.
    6. Alessandra Fogli & Laura Veldkamp, 2007. "Nature or nurture? learning and female labor force dynamics," Staff Report 386, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    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. Vadym Lepetyuk & Christian A. Stoltenberg, 2012. "Reconciling consumption inequality with income inequality," Working Papers. Serie AD 2012-19, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    9. Nao Sudo & Michio Suzuki & Tomoaki Yamada, 2012. "Inequalities in Japanese Economy during the Lost Decades," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-856, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    10. Doepke, M. & Tertilt, M., 2016. "Families in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1789-1891, Elsevier.
    11. 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.
    12. Meghir, Costas & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2011. "Earnings, Consumption and Life Cycle Choices," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 9, pages 773-854, Elsevier.
    13. Valladares-Esteban, Arnau & Choi, Sekyu, 2016. "The marriage unemployment gap," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 1509, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    14. Hanzhe Zhang, 2021. "An Investment-and-Marriage Model with Differential Fecundity: On the College Gender Gap," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 129(5), pages 1464-1486.
    15. Hryshko, Dmytro & Juhn, Chinhui & McCue, Kristin, 2017. "Trends in earnings inequality and earnings instability among U.S. couples: How important is assortative matching?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 168-182.
    16. 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.
    17. Miller, Ray & Bairoliya, Neha & Canning, David, 2019. "Health disparities and the socioeconomic gradient in elderly life-cycle consumption," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 14(C).
    18. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2014. "Consumption and Labor Supply with Partial Insurance: An Analytical Framework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 2075-2126, July.
    19. Flabbi, Luca & Leonardi, Marco, 2010. "Sources of earnings inequality: Estimates from an on-the-job search model of the US labor market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 832-854, August.
    20. Nezih Guner & Remzi Kaygusuz & Gustavo Ventura, 2012. "Taxation and Household Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1113-1149.

    More about this item

    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:red:sed011:921. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Christian Zimmermann (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    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.