This paper investigates the application of the three-parameter, Coale-
McNeil marriage model and some related hyper-parameterized specifications to
data on the first marriage patterns of American women. Because the model is
parametric, it can be used to estimate the parameters of the marriage
process, free of censoring bias, for cohorts that have yet to complete their
first marriage experience. Empirical evidence from three surveys is reported
on the ability of the model to replicate and project observed marriage
behavior. The results indicate that the model can be a useful tool for
analyzing cohort marriage data and that recent cohorts are showing relatively
strong proclivities to both delay and forego marriage. Consistent with
earlier work, the results also indicate that education is a powerful
covariate of the timing of first marriage and that race is a powerful
covariate of its incidence.
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