Abstract

Focusing on the effects of men’s earnings, this paper analyzes remarriage. Previous empirical research has not established what theoretical aspects of men’s earnings are important. Here, data for Wisconsin high school graduates that include male respondents’ Social Security earnings history are analyzed. The results indicate that absolute earnings, earnings instability, and earnings relative to peers have minimal effects on a man’s probability of remarriage, but that permanent income positively affects remarriage. However, studies of marital disruption often find permanent income is not as important as relative earnings measures. Concluding remarks speculate about the meaning of these contrasting findings for the economics of marriage.

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