, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 311–330 | Cite as

Men’s career development and marriage timing during a period of rising inequality

  • Valerie Kincade OppenheimerEmail author
  • Matthijs Kalmijn
  • Nelson Lim


Based on data from 1979–1990 NLSY interviews, we investigate the implications of rising economic inequality for young men’s marriage timing. Our approach is to relate marriage formation to the ease or difficulty of the career-entry process and to show that large race/schooling differences in career development lead to substantial variations in marriage timing. We develop measures of current career “maturity” and of long-term labor-market position. Employing discrete-time event-history methods, we show that these variables have a substantial impact on marriage formation for both blacks and whites. Applying our regression results to models based on observed race/schooling patterns of career development, we then estimate cumulative proportions ever married in a difficult versus an easy career-entry process. We find major differences in the pace of marriage formation, depending on the difficulty of the career transition. We also find considerable differences in these marriage timing patterns across race/schooling groups corresponding to the large observed differences in the speed and difficulty of career transitions between and within these groups


Career Development Marriage Market Career Transition Marriage Formation Easy Transition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valerie Kincade Oppenheimer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matthijs Kalmijn
    • 2
  • Nelson Lim
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of California
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUtrecht UniversityThe Netherlands

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