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A quantitative review of Marriage Markets: How Inequality is Remaking the American Family by Carbone and Cahn

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  • Kirsten Cornelson
  • Aloysius Siow

Abstract

Carbone and Cahn argue that growing earnings inequality and the increased educational attainment of women, relative to men, have led to declining marriage rates for less educated women and an increase in positive assortative matching since the 1970's. These trends have negatively affected the welfare of children, as they increase the proportion of poor, single-female headed households. Using data on marriage markets defined by state, race and time, and the Choo Siow marriage matching function, this review provides a quantitative assessment of these claims. We show that changes in earnings inequality had a qualitatively consistent, but modest quantitative impact on marriage rates and positive assortative matching. Neither changes in the wage distributions nor educational attainments can explain the large decline in marriage rates over this period.

Suggested Citation

  • Kirsten Cornelson & Aloysius Siow, 2015. "A quantitative review of Marriage Markets: How Inequality is Remaking the American Family by Carbone and Cahn," Working Papers tecipa-529, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-529
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Aloysius Siow, 2015. "Testing Becker's Theory of Positive Assortative Matching," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 409-441.
    3. Raquel Fernández & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2005. "Love and Money: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Household Sorting and Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 273-344.
    4. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Georgi Kocharkov & Cezar Santos, 2014. "Marry Your Like: Assortative Mating and Income Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 348-353, May.
    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. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Burtless, Gary, 1999. "Effects of growing wage disparities and changing family composition on the U.S. income distribution," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 853-865, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rania Gihleb, 2014. "Educational Homogamy and Assortative Mating Have Not Increased," Working Paper 6052, Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Carbone; Cahn; marriage market; inequality; review;

    JEL classification:

    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General

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