Globalization’s Impact on Cross-National Trends in the Age of First Marriage and Never Marrying

Karra Greenberg, University of California, Los Angeles

For many countries in Western Europe the 1950s to the 1970s marked a time of changing behaviors regarding the age of first marriage and the percent married by country. This investigation considers how and why the effect of individual earnings potential for women’s marriage prospects may vary across countries in Europe. It similarly investigates whether the effect of men’s earnings on marriage likelihood changed during this period and how this effect may also vary by country. These questions are additionally addressed by considering the national context of individual change and the earnings gradient. Focusing on Greece, Spain, Italy, France, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, and Netherlands, the cross-national, longitudinal panel study of The Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe was utilized. Logistic regression for discrete-time event-history models were run separately for men and women who were at risk for marriage during the 1950s through the early 1980s.

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Presented in Session 25: Family Formation in Comparative-Historical Perspective