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Women's Education and Family Behavior: Trends in Marriage, Divorce and Fertility

Adam Isen and Betsey Stevenson ()

No 15725, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: This paper examines how marital and fertility patterns have changed along racial and educational lines for men and women. Historically, women with more education have been the least likely to marry and have children, but this marriage gap has eroded as the returns to marriage have changed. Marriage and remarriage rates have risen for women with a college degree relative to women with fewer years of education. However, the patterns of, and reasons for, marriage have changed. College educated women marry later, have fewer children, are less likely to view marriage as "financial security", are happier in their marriages and with their family life, and are not only the least likely to divorce, but have had the biggest decrease in divorce since the 1970s compared to women without a college degree. In contrast, there have been fewer changes in marital patterns by education for men.

JEL-codes: I20 J1 J11 J12 J13 J15 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-lab and nep-ltv
Date: 2010-02
Note: CH ED LS
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Published as Adam Isen & Betsey Stevenson, 2008. "Women’s Education and Family Behavior: Trends in Marriage, Divorce and Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Topics in Demography and the Economy National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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Chapter: Women's Education and Family Behavior: Trends in Marriage, Divorce and Fertility (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Women's Education and Family Behavior: Trends in Marriage, Divorce and Fertility (2010) Downloads
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