Bright Ideas: Cahn & Carbone, Red Families v. Blue Families

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4 Responses

  1. Nate Oman says:

    One question that I have about early marriage is whether the transition to more stable marriages at older ages is gradual or abrupt. For example, it seems entirely common sensical to me that divorce rates would be higher for those who marry in their teens. On the other hand, I wonder if there is a dramatic difference in divorce rates for those who marry when they are 30 versus those who marry when they are 23. Also, I wonder to what extent early marriage is a proxy for low levels of post-secondary education. Obviously, early marriage can cause low levels of post-secondary education, but I wonder, for example, if divorce rates are significantly higher for people who marry shortly after college graduation — say when they are 23 — and people who marry when they are in their 30s.

  2. June Carbone says:

    Paul Amato (Alone Together, 2009) has some good data on the relationship between age and marital stability, and he does show that in 2000, but not in 1980, stability continues to improve with every increase in the age of marriage into the late thirties. Stephane Mechoulan, an economist who has looked at changes in divorce rate by state, has done more sophisticated regression analyses that demonstrate that once controls are put in for education and other factors, much of the difference disappears, but a small, statistically significant effect remains. (Divorce Laws and the Structure of the American Family, 35 J. Leg. Stud. 143 (2006))

  3. Wow – blue and red “family systems” (and is there any doubt as to how we should assign values to those designations?)

    Yet strangely, here in the very Blue state of Maryland, there has been no discernible delay in family formation in our “bluest” areas nor have I detected any huge investment in women in those Blue strongholds…except, of course, to the extent that some of them didn’t delay family formation and, absent marriage….

  4. Nate Oman says:

    June: Thanks for the citation. Does Paul Amato’s work show a steady increase in the durability of marriages or do we see diminishing or increasing marginal stability with age?