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Changes in the Institution of Marriage in Egypt from 1998 to 2012

Rania Salem ()
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Rania Salem: University of Toronto

No 911, Working Papers from Economic Research Forum

Abstract: Fear over the perceived breakdown of the institution of marriage plagues many Egyptian policy-makers and members of the public. This study examines the trajectory of marriage behaviors in three nationally-representative surveys spanning the period 1998 to 2012 to determine whether this fear is justified. It also investigates socio-demographic variations in marriage practices at each time point. Overall, this study finds that marriage is nearly universal in Egyptian society, and both never-marriage and divorce are extremely rare over time and across all socio-demographic groups. Between 1998 and 2006, marriage was increasingly postponed to older ages, but starting in 2006, marriage began occurring earlier in the life-cycle for some groups. At the same time, in the period 2006 to 2012, engagement durations have risen slightly, unions between first cousins have declined slightly, and nuclear families are established by a considerably higher percentage of newlyweds upon marriage. Finally, there is some empirical support for the claim that marriage expenditures have risen over time.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ara
Date: 2015-05, Revised 2015-05
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Published by The Economic Research Forum (ERF)

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