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Fertility Shocks and Equilibrium Marriage-Rate Dynamics

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Abstract

Why did the marriage probability of single females in France after World War 1 rise 50% above its pre-war average, despite a 33% drop in the male/female singles ratio? We conjecture that war-time disruption of the marriage market generated an abnormal abundance of men with relatively high marriage propensities. Our model of matching over the lifecycle, when calibrated to pre-war data and two war-time shocks, succeeds in matching the French time path under the additional assumption of a pro-natalist post-war preference shock. We conclude that endogeneity issues make the sex ratio a potentially unreliable indicator of female marriage prospects.

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  • Knowles, John & Vandenbroucke, Guillaume, 2015. "Fertility Shocks and Equilibrium Marriage-Rate Dynamics," Working Papers 2015-7, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 01 Apr 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2015-007
    DOI: 10.20955/wp.2015.007
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    1. Pissarides, C A, 1979. "Job Matchings with State Employment Agencies and Random Search," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(356), pages 818-833, December.
    2. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2006. "Are There Increasing Returns in Marriage Markets?," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-050, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    3. Christopher A. Pissarides & Barbara Petrongolo, 2001. "Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 390-431, June.
    4. Matthias Doepke & Moshe Hazan & Yishay D. Maoz, 2015. "The Baby Boom and World War II: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(3), pages 1031-1073.
    5. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-846, July-Aug..
    6. Shouyong Shi, 2002. "A Directed Search Model of Inequality with Heterogeneous Skills and Skill-Biased Technology," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 467-491.
    7. Dirk Bethmann & Michael Kvasnicka, 2013. "World War II, Missing Men and Out of Wedlock Childbearing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(567), pages 162-194, March.
    8. Ran Abramitzky & Adeline Delavande & Luis Vasconcelos, 2011. "Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 124-157, July.
    9. Eugene Choo & Aloysius Siow, 2006. "Who Marries Whom and Why," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 175-201, February.
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    1. Fertility Shocks and Equilibrium Marriage-Rate Dynamics: Lessons from World War 1 in France
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2015-04-20 08:58:36

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    Cited by:

    1. Nezih Guner & Christopher Rauh & Elizabeth Caucutt, 2017. "Is Marriage for White People? Incarceration and the Racial Marriage Divide," 2017 Meeting Papers 779, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Family Economics; Household Formation; Marriage; Fertility.;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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