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Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching

Listed author(s):
  • Ran Abramitzky
  • Adeline Delavande
  • Luis Vasconcelos

We assemble a novel dataset to study the impact of male scarcity on marital assortative matching and other marriage market outcomes using the large shock that WWI caused to the number of French men. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find that postwar in regions with higher mortality rates: men were less likely to marry women of lower social classes; men were more likely and women less likely to marry; out-of-wedlock births increased; divorce rates decreased; and the age gap decreased. These findings are consistent with men improving their position in the marriage market as they become scarcer. (JEL J12, J16, N34)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.3.3.124
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/app/data/2010-0041_data.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 124-157

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:3:y:2011:i:3:p:124-57
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.3.3.124
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  1. Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix, 2002. "Marriage Market, Divorce Legislation, and Household Labor Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 37-72, February.
  2. Josh Angrist, 2002. "How Do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage and Labor Markets? Evidence from America's Second Generation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 997-1038.
  3. Botticini, Maristella, 1999. "A Loveless Economy? Intergenerational Altruism and the Marriage Market in a Tuscan Town, 1415–1436," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(01), pages 104-121, March.
  4. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, September.
  5. BLOCH, Francis & RYDER, Harl, 1994. "Two-Sided Search, Marriages and Matchmakers," CORE Discussion Papers 1994028, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2002. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 730-770, August.
  7. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Maitreesh Ghatak & Jeanne Lafortune, 2013. "Marry for What? Caste and Mate Selection in Modern India," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 33-72, May.
  8. Ran Abramitzky & Adeline Delavande & Luis Vasconcelos, 2011. "Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 124-157, July.
  9. Vijayendra Rao, "undated". "The Rising Price of Husbands: A Hedonic Analysis of Dowry Increases in Rural India," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 91-6, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  10. Belot, Michèle & Francesconi, Marco, 2006. "Can Anyone be 'The One'? Evidence on Mate Selection from Speed Dating," CEPR Discussion Papers 5926, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Eugene Choo & Aloysius Siow, 2006. "Who Marries Whom and Why," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 175-201, February.
  12. Alberto Bisin & Giorgio Topa & Thierry Verdier, 2004. "Religious Intermarriage and Socialization in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 615-664, June.
  13. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2000. "Why Dowries?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0200, Econometric Society.
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  15. Soohyung Lee, 2008. "Preferences and Choice Constraints in Marital Sorting: Evidence From Korea," Discussion Papers 07-042, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  16. Jeanne Lafortune, 2012. "Making Yourself Attractive: Pre-Marital Investments and the Returns to Education in the Marriage Market," Working Papers ClioLab 13, EH Clio Lab. Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
  17. Claudia Goldin, 1990. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold90-1, September.
  18. Murat Nick & P. Randall Walsh, 2007. "Building the Family Nest: Premarital Investments, Marriage Markets, and Spousal Allocations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 507-535.
  19. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 11-26 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Peter A. Diamond, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 217-227.
  21. Niko Matouschek & Imran Rasul, 2008. "The Economics of the Marriage Contract: Theories and Evidence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 59-110, 02.
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  25. Pencavel, John, 1998. "Assortative Mating by Schooling and the Work Behavior of Wives and Husbands," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 326-329, May.
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  29. Edlund, Lena, 1997. "Dowry Inflation: A Comment," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 193, Stockholm School of Economics.
  30. repec:esx:essedp:620 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. Günter Hitsch & Ali Hortaçsu & Dan Ariely, 2010. "What makes you click?—Mate preferences in online dating," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 393-427, December.
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  34. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-846, July-Aug..
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