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Marriage and Economic Development in the Twentieth Century

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  • Moro, Alessio
  • Moslehi, Solmaz
  • Tanaka, Satoshi

Abstract

There is an extensive literature discussing how individuals' marriage behavior changes as a country develops. However, no existing data set allows an explicit investigation of the relationship between marriage and economic development. In this paper, we construct new cross-country panel data on marital statistics for 16 OECD countries from 1900 to 2000, in order to analyze such a relationship. We use this data set, together with cross-country data on real GDP per capita and the value added share of agriculture, manufacturing and services sectors, to document two novel stylized facts. First, the fraction of a country's population that is married displays a hump-shaped relationship with the level of real GDP per capita. Second, the fraction of the married correlates positively with the share of manufacturing in GDP. We conclude that the stage of economic development of a country is a key factor that affects individuals' family formation decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Moro, Alessio & Moslehi, Solmaz & Tanaka, Satoshi, 2015. "Marriage and Economic Development in the Twentieth Century," Discussion Paper Series 629, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:hituec:629
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Iyigun, Murat & Lafortune, Jeanne, 2016. "Why Wait? A Century of Education, Marriage Timing and Gender Roles," IZA Discussion Papers 9671, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Jelnov, Pavel, 2023. "The marriage age U-shape," Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 89(2), pages 211-252, June.
    3. Feng, Ying & Ren, Jie, 2022. "Within marriage age gap across countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 210(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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