Male employment and first union formation in Canada




Wang, Yanyi.

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Over the past several decades, Canada has experienced substantial changes in the formation of first union, mainly characterized by a decline in first marriage and upsurge in nonmarital cohabitation. Relying on male-oriented economic arguments, this study explores the relation of men's employment to their transition to first union, both first marriage and first cohabitation. Empirical findings, based on data from the 1995 General Social Survey (GSS-95), generally suggest that employment is positively associated with the formation of either type of first union, although with a greater effect on marriage than on cohabitation. Further, there is no evidence that the effect of employment on first union depends on the level of education. This study also conducts regional analysis in first union formation between Quebec men and other Canadian men. The findings imply that the effect of employment does not differ between the two regions in the process of first union. Incorporating marital and nonmarital unions in a single analysis, this study broadens our knowledge of the transition to first union of Canadian men.