Over the past four decades, the more developed countries have experienced a marked decline in the marriage rates of both men and women. The reasons for the decline remain a debated issue. Three explanations predict that the decline in marriage is a period effect, while two predict that it is a birth cohort effect. To determine whether the decline is a period or a cohort effect, this study performed an age–period–cohort analysis. Using data from Israel, our results show that both cohort replacement and period factors were important. Until 1990–1994 the decline in marriage was a period effect, whereas after 1990–1994 the decline was a cohort effect. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our results for the three major explanations of the decline in marriage.
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Acknowledgements The research for this paper was supported by a grant from the National Insurance Institute of Israel. Earlier versions were presented at a colloquium at the Vienna Institute of Demography, August 2012, and at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, New Orleans, April 2013. We would like to thank three anonymous reviewers and the editors for their comments.
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- Age–period–cohort model
- Second demographic transition