Stability in Mexican Nuptial Regimes or Change Over Time?: Cohort Differences in Timing to First Marriage among Women in Mexico and the Role of Education

Rhiannon A. D'Souza, Ohio State University
Reanne Frank, Ohio State University
Kammi Schmeer, Ohio State University

Using data from the Mexican Family Life Survey (MxFLS), we examine changes in age at first marriage across cohorts. Life table analysis indicates increased variability in age at first marriage across cohorts, and illustrates a greater proportion of never-married women in more recent compared to earlier cohorts at every point in the life course. This pattern is confirmed by the discrete time survival analysis which illustrates that women in more recent cohorts have a lower likelihood of marriage compared to those in earlier cohorts. This lower likelihood is largely mediated by educational attainment. Additionally, interaction models demonstrate the relationship between education and timing to marriage has changed across cohorts. Specifically, having a higher education decreases the likelihood of marriage only among women in more recent cohorts. These results suggest that education has gained value among women over time, challenging views that traditional family values and norms have remained dominant across cohorts of women in Mexico.

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Presented in Session 115: Marriage and Union Formation in Developing Countries