A Quantitative Review of Marriage Markets: How Inequality Is Remaking the American Family by Carbone and Cahn
Journal of Economic Literature
no. 1, March 2016
June Carbone and Naomi Cahn argue that growing earnings inequality and the increased educational attainment of women, relative to men, have led to declining marriage rates for less-educated women and an increase in positive assortative matching since the 1970s. These trends have negatively affected the welfare of children, as they increase the proportion of poor, single-female-headed households.
Using data on marriage markets defined by state, race and time, and the Choo-Siow marriage matching function, this review provides a quantitative assessment of these claims. We show that changes in earnings inequality had a qualitatively consistent but modest quantitative impact on marriage rates and positive assortative matching. Neither changes in the wage distributions nor educational attainments can explain the large decline in marriage rates over this period. (JEL C78, D63, J12, J15, J16, J31)
Cornelson, Kirsten, and Aloysius Siow.
"A Quantitative Review of Marriage Markets: How Inequality Is Remaking the American Family by Carbone and Cahn."
Journal of Economic Literature,
Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure; Domestic Abuse
Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials