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Marriage patterns differ dramatically in the United States by race and education.
The author identifies a novel explanation for these marital divides, namely, the important
role of personal wealth in marriage entry. Using event-history models and data from
the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 cohort, the author shows that wealth
is an important predictor of first marriage and that differences in asset ownership
by race and education help to explain a significant portion of the race and education
gaps in first marriage. The article also tests possible explanations for why wealth
plays an important role in first marriage entry.