Volume 35 - Article 11 | Pages 283-314

The gendered effects of labour market experiences on marriage timing in Egypt

By Rania Salem

Print this page  Facebook  Twitter

 

 
Date received:01 Apr 2015
Date published:16 Aug 2016
Word count:6671
Keywords:employment, family, gender, labor, marriage, work, youth
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2016.35.11
 

Abstract

Background: In Egypt, the ‘social problem’ of delayed marriage is typically attributed to the difficult labour market conditions and high marriage costs faced by young people, particularly men. However, emerging evidence indicates that Egyptian women’s employment experiences may also influence marriage timing.

Objective: This paper investigates gender differences in the determinants of marriage timing, including employment history, job characteristics, education, and urban residence. It tests a number of hypotheses based on existing claims in the literature on marriage timing.

Methods: Data from two waves of the nationally representative Egypt Labour Market Panel Survey are used to carry out proportional hazard analyses. Characteristics of never-married respondents at wave one in 1998 are used to predict the risk of marriage by wave two in 2006.

Results: The results indicate that, to some extent, never-married men who have favourable labour market experiences marry earlier. The same experiences bear no association with women’s marriage timing. For men, being employed and having a public sector job are important economic prerequisites for marriage.

Conclusions: Evidence indicates that Egyptian men with favourable labour market experiences attract a spouse and establish an independent household faster than others. The male breadwinner ideal is therefore a powerful force in dictating who marries when in Egypt today. I also contend that previous studies may have overstated the delaying effects of education and urban residence on marriage, particularly for women. Finally, I offer four contextual factors that must be taken into account when predicting whether existing theories will hold in a given setting.

Author's Affiliation

Rania Salem - University of Toronto, Canada [Email]

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» Spatial modelling of rural infant mortality and occupation in 19th-century Britain
Volume 36 - Article 44    | Keywords: family, gender

» The forest and the trees: Industrialization, demographic change, and the ongoing gender revolution in Sweden and the United States, 1870-2010
Volume 36 - Article 6    | Keywords: family, gender

» Cohabitation among secular Jews in Israel: How ethnicity, education, and employment characteristics are related to young adults' living arrangements
Volume 35 - Article 32    | Keywords: family, marriage

» Pragmatic tradition or romantic aspiration? The causes of impulsive marriage and early divorce among women in rural Malawi
Volume 35 - Article 3    | Keywords: marriage, youth

» First union formation in urban Burkina Faso: Competing relationship transitions to marriage or cohabitation
Volume 34 - Article 15    | Keywords: marriage, youth

Articles

»Volume 35

 

Citations

 

 

Similar Articles

 

 

Jump to Article

Volume Page
Volume Article ID