'Why Not Settle Down Already?' A Quantitative Analysis of the Delay in Marriage

28 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2016

See all articles by Cezar Santos

Cezar Santos

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças

David Weiss

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics

Date Written: May 2016

Abstract

A striking change in American society in the last 40 years has been the decline and delay in marriage. The fraction of young adults who have never been married increased significantly between 1970 and 2000. Idiosyncratic labor income volatility also rose. We establish a quantitatively important link between these facts. If marriage involves consumption commitments, then a rise in income volatility delays marriage. We quantitatively assess this hypothesis vis‐à‐vis others in the literature. Increased volatility accounts for about 20% of the observed delay in marriage and is strong relative to other mechanisms.

Suggested Citation

Santos, Cezar and Weiss, David, 'Why Not Settle Down Already?' A Quantitative Analysis of the Delay in Marriage (May 2016). International Economic Review, Vol. 57, Issue 2, pp. 425-452, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2772291 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/iere.12163

Cezar Santos (Contact Author)

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças ( email )

Praia de Botafogo 190/1125, CEP
Rio de Janeiro RJ 22253-900
Brazil

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/czrsantos

David Weiss

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 39040
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel

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