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Intermarriage in a divided society: Ireland a century ago

Listed author(s):
  • Fernihough, Alan
  • Ó Gráda, Cormac
  • Walsh, Brendan M.

This paper explores the characteristics associated with marriages between Roman Catholics and members of other religious denominations in Ireland before the Great War. Using the entire digitized returns of the 1911 population census, we find that such marriages were relatively rare, occurring in less than 1% of total marriages. Some of this infrequency can be attributed to ethno-religious hostility—especially in the north of the country. However, we also show that the rarity of intermarriage reflects local marriage markets, as non-Roman Catholics living in communities with fewer coreligionists were more likely to intermarry. We examine the individual characteristics of partners in these marriages, looking at the religious denomination of their children, their decision to marry out, and their fertility behavior. Our findings illustrate how the frequency of intermarriage reflects historical levels of intolerance, but only after local marriage market conditions have been accounted for.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014498315000029
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 56 (2015)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 1-14

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:56:y:2015:i:c:p:1-14
DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2014.11.002
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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  1. Paul S. Lambert & Richard L. Zijdeman & Marco H. D. Van Leeuwen & Ineke Maas & Kenneth Prandy, 2013. "The Construction of HISCAM: A Stratification Scale Based on Social Interactions for Historical Comparative Research," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(2), pages 77-89, June.
  2. 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.
  3. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
  4. Nico Voigtländer & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2013. "Married to Intolerance: Attitudes toward Intermarriage in Germany, 1900-2006," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 79-85, May.
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  6. Walsh, Brendan M., 1970. "Religion and Demographic Behaviour in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number GRS55.
  7. Barry Chiswick & Christina Houseworth, 2011. "Ethnic intermarriage among immigrants: human capital and assortative mating," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 149-180, June.
  8. Pierre-André Chiappori & Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2012. "Fatter Attraction: Anthropometric and Socioeconomic Matching on the Marriage Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(4), pages 659-695.
  9. Roland G. Fryer Jr., 2007. "Guess Who's Been Coming to Dinner? Trends in Interracial Marriage over the 20th Century," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 71-90, Spring.
  10. Raymond Fisman & Sheena S. Iyengar & Emir Kamenica & Itamar Simonson, 2008. "Racial Preferences in Dating," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 117-132.
  11. Brendan M. Walsh, 1970. "Religion and demographic behaviour in Ireland," Open Access publications 10197/1487, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  12. Gunter J. Hitsch & Ali Hortaçsu & Dan Ariely, 2010. "Matching and Sorting in Online Dating," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 130-163, March.
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