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Two Decades of Family Change: The Shifting Economic Foundations of Marriage

Two Decades of Family Change: The Shifting Economic Foundations of Marriage Has the relationship between economic prospects and marriage formation in the United States changed in recent decades? To answer this question, a discrete-time event-history analysis was conducted using data from multiple cohorts of the National Longitudinal Surveys of Labor Market Experience. Among women, results indicate growth in the importance of earnings for marriage formation between the early baby-boom cohort (born between 1950 and 1954) and late baby-boom cohort (born between 1961 and 1965). Evidence of cohort change in the relationship between men's economic prospects and marriage, however, is limited. Despite important racial differences in the economic and attitudinal context of marriage, key results are generally similar for whites and for African Americans. Taken together, these findings imply that men and women are growing to resemble one another with respect to the relationship between economic prospects and marriage, although this convergence is driven primarily by changing patterns of marriage among women. These results are largely supportive of Oppenheimer's career-entry theory of marriage and suggest that Becker's specialization and trading model of marriage may be outdated. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Sociological Review SAGE

Two Decades of Family Change: The Shifting Economic Foundations of Marriage

American Sociological Review , Volume 67 (1): 16 – Feb 1, 2002

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References (61)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2002 American Sociological Association
ISSN
0003-1224
eISSN
1939-8271
DOI
10.1177/000312240206700107
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Has the relationship between economic prospects and marriage formation in the United States changed in recent decades? To answer this question, a discrete-time event-history analysis was conducted using data from multiple cohorts of the National Longitudinal Surveys of Labor Market Experience. Among women, results indicate growth in the importance of earnings for marriage formation between the early baby-boom cohort (born between 1950 and 1954) and late baby-boom cohort (born between 1961 and 1965). Evidence of cohort change in the relationship between men's economic prospects and marriage, however, is limited. Despite important racial differences in the economic and attitudinal context of marriage, key results are generally similar for whites and for African Americans. Taken together, these findings imply that men and women are growing to resemble one another with respect to the relationship between economic prospects and marriage, although this convergence is driven primarily by changing patterns of marriage among women. These results are largely supportive of Oppenheimer's career-entry theory of marriage and suggest that Becker's specialization and trading model of marriage may be outdated.

Journal

American Sociological ReviewSAGE

Published: Feb 1, 2002

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