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The Wife's Protector: The Effect of Contraception on Marriage during the 20th Century

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Abstract

The 19th and 20th centuries saw a transformation in contraceptive technologies and their take up. This led to a sexual revolution, which witnessed a rise in premarital sex and out-of-wedlock births, and a decline in marriage. The impact of contraception on married and single life is analyzed here both theoretically and quantitatively. The analysis is conducted using a model where people search for partners. Upon finding one, they can choose between abstinence, marriage, and a premarital sexual relationship. The model is confronted with some stylized facts about premarital sex and marriage over the course of the 20th century. Some economic history is also presented.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Karen A. Kopecky, 2019. "The Wife's Protector: The Effect of Contraception on Marriage during the 20th Century," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 31, Economie d'Avant Garde.
  • Handle: RePEc:eag:rereps:31
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