Journal Article

The geographic context of male nuptiality in Western Germany during the 1980s and 1990s

Hank, K.
Demographic Research, 7:15, 523–536 (2002)


This paper studies the relationship between characteristics of men´s place of residence and the probability of entering marriage in western Germany during the 1980s and 1990s. We link micro-information from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (GSOEP) with district-level data to estimate discrete-time multilevel logit models. Our results support the widely accepted idea about the importance of men´s individual economic status in marital decisions. They furthermore indicate a negative relationship between women´s aggregate labor force participation and male transition rates to marriage, which could be interpreted as evidence for the popular ´economic independence hypothesis´ of marital behavior. Complementary, we put forward an interpretation of female employment rates as indicators of a region´s degree of secularization, for example. Consistent with a previous study on female nuptiality in Germany, our findings (which also include a significant latent contextual effect) suggest that a man´s propensity to marry is influenced by the regional socio-cultural milieu he lives in.
Keywords: Germany/FRG, men, nuptiality
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