Academic Commons

Articles

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

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

Using the 1970, 1980, and 1990 Censuses, the authors investigate the impact of labor and marriage market conditions on the incidence of marriage of young women (age 16-24). They first estimate the effects on marriage of personal characteristics and Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) indicators, separately by race and education group. They then regress the first-stage MSA effects on MSA-level labor and marriage market conditions and welfare benefits, taking account of fixed effects and time trends specific to each MSA. 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.

Subjects

Files

Also Published In

Title
Industrial and Labor Relations Review

More About This Work

Academic Units
Social Work
Published Here
September 10, 2012
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.