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Who Married, (to) Whom, and Where? Trends in Marriage in the United States, 1850-1940

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  • Paserman, Daniele
  • Olivetti, Claudia
  • Salisbury, Laura
  • Weber, E. Anna

Abstract

We present new findings about the relationship between marriage and socioeconomic background in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Imputing socioeconomic status of family of origin from first names, we document a socioeconomic gradient for women in the probability of marriage and the socioeconomic status of husbands. This socioeconomic gradient becomes steeper over time. We investigate the degree to which it can be explained by occupational income divergence across geographic regions. Regional divergence explains about one half of the socioeconomic divergence in the probability of marriage, and almost all of the increase in marital sorting. Differences in urbanization rates and the share of foreign-born across states drive most of these differences, while other factors (the scholarization rate, the sex ratio and the share in manufacturing) play a smaller role.

Suggested Citation

  • Paserman, Daniele & Olivetti, Claudia & Salisbury, Laura & Weber, E. Anna, 2020. "Who Married, (to) Whom, and Where? Trends in Marriage in the United States, 1850-1940," CEPR Discussion Papers 15484, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:15484
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    Cited by:

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    2. Enrico Berkes & Davide M. Coluccia & Gaia Dossi & Mara P. Squicciarini, 2023. "Dealing with adversity: Religiosity or science? Evidence from the great influenza pandemic," POID Working Papers 068, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Enrico Berkes & Davide M. Coluccia & Gaia Dossi & Mara P. Squicciarini, 2023. "Dealing with adversity: religiosity or science? Evidence from the great influenza pandemic," CEP Discussion Papers dp1927, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Marriage; Assortative mating; Gender; Intergenerational mobility; Regional convergence;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N91 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N92 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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