Marriage timing of men in Egypt: the changing role of employment status and schooling over time

Christine Binzel, German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

There has been growing concern about the rising age at first marriage for men in the Middle East and North Africa region. In this paper, we use detailed life-course data from the Egypt Labor Market Panel Survey of 2006. Particular attention is paid to schooling and cohort effects and – for the well-educated – to changing labor market conditions, especially to the strong decline in government sector jobs in the 1980s and the implementation of the Economic Reform Structural Adjustment Program in 1991. Our findings suggest that the delay in marriage is driven by the lower-educated men leading to a convergence in the age at first marriage over time across men with different schooling background. Moreover, conditions in the private sector seem to have improved recently. In particular wage workers (formal and informal) are associated with a higher hazard of marrying compared to wage workers in previous labor market periods.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility, family and children