Status Exchange? Remarriage and Intermarriage

Zhenchao Qian, Ohio State University
Daniel T. Lichter, Cornell University

Individuals seeking to remarry often face a more restricted marriage market compared with those searching for marriage for the first time. Marriage market constraints after divorce mean that individuals must often “cast a wider net” that includes potential partners of different ages, education, racial backgrounds, or nativity status. In this paper, identifing marriages formed in the previous year from 2008 to 2010 microfiles of the American Community Surveys. We examine whether remarried couples are more likely to cross racial or nativity boundaries to form intermarriage than first married couples. We formulate hypotheses based on status exchange theories. Our results reveal that remarried individuals are more likely to form white-minority marriages than first married couples. In addition, remarriages are more heterogeneous in marriage order, educational attainment, and age than those couples in which both spouses are in first marriages. These results suggest strong status exchange in intermarriage among the remarried.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 67: Intermarriage