Neighbors and Neighborhoods: Effects on Marriage Timing
Yabiku, Scott T. 2006. “Neighbors and Neighborhoods: Effects on Marriage Timing.” Population Research and Policy Review 25:305-327.
Studies of neighborhoods can benefit from data and theoretical frameworks that allow them to examine the differences between neighborhoods and neighbors. Without this distinction, it is unclear if it is characteristics of the people or the place that are associated with individual outcomes. Using data from the Chitwan Valley Family Study, I explore the differences between neighbors and neighborhoods and their associations with marriage timing. I hypothesize three mechanisms whereby neighbors influence individuals: information sharing, social modeling, and sanctions and rewards among a close primary residential group. I explore three domains in which these mechanisms are likely to operate: education, media consumption, and attitudes. Results indicate that when neighbors have attitudes favoring later marriage and being single, marriage rates decrease, even when controlling for measures that describe the neighborhood’s access to important resources in the form of institutions and services.