Age at Marriage and Marital Instability: Revisiting the Becker-Landes-Michael Hypothesis

42 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2006  

Evelyn L. Lehrer

University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: June 2006

Abstract

An early age at first marriage is known to be associated with a high risk of divorce. Yet it has been suggested that beyond a certain point, the relationship between age at marriage and marital instability may become positive, because as unmarried women begin to hear their biological clock tick, they may settle for matches far from the optimal. Analyses based on cycles 5 and 6 of the National Surveys of Family Growth show that the relationship between age at marriage and marital instability is strongly negative up to the late twenties, with a flattening of the curve thereafter.

Keywords: divorce, marital dissolution, marriage

JEL Classification: J12, J11, J10

Suggested Citation

Lehrer, Evelyn L., Age at Marriage and Marital Instability: Revisiting the Becker-Landes-Michael Hypothesis (June 2006). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2166. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=912213

Evelyn L. Lehrer (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

725 University Hall (UH)
Chicago, IL 60607-7121
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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