The Decline in Marriage: An Age-Period-Cohort Analysis, Israel 1961-1994

Jona Schellekens, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Moshe Ophir, Bar-Ilan University
David Gliksberg, Hebrew University

Three explanations –two economic and one ideational– dominate the current debate over the decline in marriage. Using Israeli Census data this paper tests the three major hypotheses explaining the decline in marriage in an age-period-cohort model. Increased earnings account for most of the decline among women, probably by diminishing women's economic reliance on men. Cohort replacement accounts for much of the rest of the decline among women, attitudinal change being the more likely mechanism through which cohort replacement affected marriage. Among men cohort replacement is the major explanation for the decline. Period influences creating economic insecurity –unemployment and inflation– account for much of the rest of the decline among men.

  See paper

Presented in Session 66: Marriage Formation in Historical and Comparative Perspective