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

40 Pages Posted: 17 May 2000 Last revised: 15 Oct 2010

See all articles by Francine D. Blau

Francine D. Blau

Cornell University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Lawrence M. Kahn

Cornell University - School of Industrial and Labor Relations; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Jane Waldfogel

Columbia University - School of Social Work

Date Written: January 2000

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Blau, Francine D. and Kahn, Lawrence M. and Waldfogel, Jane, Understanding Young Women's Marriage Decisions: The Role of Labor and Marriage Market Conditions (January 2000). NBER Working Paper No. w7510. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=217917

Francine D. Blau (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )

265 Ives Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-3901
United States
607-255-4381 (Phone)
607-255-4496 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/directory/fdb4/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstra├če 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Lawrence M. Kahn

Cornell University - School of Industrial and Labor Relations ( email )

265 Ives Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-3901
United States
607-255-0510 (Phone)
607-255-4496 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Jane Waldfogel

Columbia University - School of Social Work ( email )

622 W. 113th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

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