NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Understanding Young Women's Marriage Decisions: The Role of Labor and Marriage Market Conditions

Francine D. Blau, Lawrence M. Kahn, Jane Waldfogel

NBER Working Paper No. 7510
Issued in January 2000
NBER Program(s):   LS

Using the 1970, 1980 and 1990 Censuses, we investigate the impact of labor and marriage market conditions on the incidence of marriage of young women (age 16-24). We employ a two-stage methodology. First, across individuals, marriage is regressed on personal characteristics and MSA indicators, separately by race and education group. Second, the first-stage MSA effects are regressed on MSA-level labor and marriage market conditions and welfare benefits using cross-section and fixed effects models, including both first and second difference equations. Better female labor markets, worse female marriage markets and worse male labor markets are found to lower marriage rates for whites in all education groups. Results for these variables for blacks are sensitive to estimation technique, although stronger results are obtained for an older age group (25-34). While welfare benefits have a negative effect in cross-sectional analyses, the association becomes considerably weaker in fixed effects specifications.

download in pdf format
   (694 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (694 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7510

Published: Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Jane Waldfogel. "Understanding young women's marriage decisions: The role of labor and marriage market conditions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, ILR School, Cornell University, vol. 53(4), pages 624-647, July 2000.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Freiden The United States Marriage Market
Stevenson and Wolfers w12944 Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces
Isen and Stevenson w15725 Women's Education and Family Behavior: Trends in Marriage, Divorce and Fertility
Benham Benefits of Women's Education within Marriage
Becker A Theory of Marriage
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us