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The her in inheritance: how marriage matching has always mattered, Quebec 1800-1970


  • Matthew Curtis


When did marriage become strongly assortative? Is it a recent development, aconsequence of increased female employment and a cause of rising inequality? A longrun perspective is necessary to answer this question. This paper uses a uniquely suitabledatabase from Quebec 1800{1970 to provide such a perspective. First, it develops anovel method which reveals that marriage was highly assortative as far back as the earlynineteenth century. Next, it shows this matching depended on the individual humancapital of women, not just on family backgrounds. Finally, it shows that mothers hada causal impact on child outcomes independently from fathers. Thus, despite deeplyconservative gender norms, marriage matching

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Curtis, 2022. "The her in inheritance: how marriage matching has always mattered, Quebec 1800-1970," Working Papers ECARES 2022-38, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/351619

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Wolfgang Keller & Carol H. Shiue, 2023. "Intergenerational Mobility of Daughters and Marital Sorting: New Evidence from Imperial China," NBER Working Papers 31695, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item


    Assortative mating; marriage matching; sorting; human captial; intergenerational mobility;
    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-

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