Intermarriage: Bringing Marriage Markets Back In

Kate H. Choi, University of Western Ontario
Marta Tienda, Princeton University

Virtually all studies of intermarriage acknowledge that local marriage market conditions constrain mate selection, yet few empirically evaluate how local marriage market conditions influence intermarriage behavior. Using data from the 2008-2011 American Community Surveys, we document variations in intermarriage patterns by couple nativity status, local marriage market conditions, and wife’s education. Results from log-linear analyses show that the prevalence of intermarriage is higher in communities with low shares of co-ethnics than in communities with high shares of co-ethnics. In all marriage markets, mixed nativity couples are more likely to intermarry than same nativity couples, except in communities with imbalanced ethnic sex ratios. These differences are more pronounced in remarriages than in first marriages. Together, these findings highlight the importance of local marriage market conditions in mate selection behavior.

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Presented in Session 71: Marriage Markets