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Social Change: The Sexual Revolution

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  • Jeremy Greenwood
  • Nezih Guner

Abstract

In 1900 only 6% of unwed teenage females engaged in premarital sex. Now, three quarters do. The sexual revolution is studied here using an equilibrium matching model, where the costs of premarital sex fall over time due to technological improvement in contraceptives. Individuals differ in their desire for sex. Given this, people tend to circulate in social groups where prospective partners share their views on premarital sex. To the extent that society's customs and mores reflect the aggregation of decentralized decision making by its members, shifts in the economic environment may induce changes in what is perceived as culture.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2010. "Social Change: The Sexual Revolution," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(4), pages 893-923, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:51:y:2010:i:4:p:893-923
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-2354.2010.00605.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Strulik, Holger, 2015. "Desire and Development," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112818, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Nico Voigtl?nder & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2013. "How the West "Invented" Fertility Restriction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2227-2264, October.
    3. Jeremy Greenwood & Philipp Kircher & Cezar Santos & Michèle Tertilt, 2013. "An Equilibrium Model of the African HIV/AIDS Epidemic," NBER Working Papers 18953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Holger Strulik, 2017. "Contraception And Development: A Unified Growth Theory," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 58, pages 561-584, May.
    5. Fabio Mariani, 2012. "The economic value of virtue," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 323-356, December.
    6. Georgi Kocharkov, 2012. "Abortions and Inequality," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2012-22, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    7. Alessandra Fogli & Laura Veldkamp, 2011. "Nature or Nurture? Learning and the Geography of Female Labor Force Participation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(4), pages 1103-1138, July.
    8. Kelly Ragan, 2012. "Sex and the Single Girl: The Role of Culture in Contraception Demand," 2012 Meeting Papers 846, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Alessandra Fogli & Laura Veldkamp, 2007. "Nature or nurture? learning and female labor force dynamics," Staff Report 386, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    10. Jeremy Greenwood, 2011. "EconomicDynamics Interviews Jeremy Greenwood on DGE beyond Macroeconomics," EconomicDynamics Newsletter, Review of Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(2), April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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