Young Women’s Job Stability, Union Formation, and Contextual Conditions

Angela Estacion, Johns Hopkins University

There is some consensus in the literature that good economic circumstances are linked to marriage. There is less agreement about whether this is true for women and whether economic circumstances can similarly predict cohabitation. This study fills a gap by studying women in particular and including cohabitation. This paper focuses on women during their young adult years, a highly mobile and unpredictable time. Given the instability characteristic of young adulthood, this paper uses a different but important measure of economic circumstance: job instability. Previous studies typically included education, employment, occupation, and earnings to capture economic circumstances. Finally, this research links individual women to their place of residence to consider the contexts (labor market opportunities and housing costs) in which they make life decisions. Similar studies including contextual effects have typically thought of context as marriage markets and have not generally followed individuals through time within their changing contexts.

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Presented in Poster Session 1