IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

World War II, Missing Men, and Out-of-wedlock Childbearing

  • Michael Kvasnicka
  • Dirk Bethmann

Based on county-level census data for the German state of Bavaria in 1939 and 1946, we use World War II as a natural experiment to study the effects of sex ratio changes on out-of-wedlock fertility. Our findings show that war-induced shortfalls of men to women significantly increased the nonmarital fertility ratio at mid century, a result that proves robust to the use of alternative sex ratio definitions, post-war measures of fertility, and estimation samples. The magnitude of this increase furthermore appears to depend on the future marriage market prospects that women at the time could expect to face in the not-too-distant future. We find the positive effect on the nonmarital fertility ratio of a decline in the sex ratio to be strongly attenuated by the magnitude of county- level shares of prisoners of war. Unlike military casualties and soldiers missing in action, prisoners of war had a sizeable positive probability of returning home from the war. Both current marriage market conditions, therefore, and foreseeable improvements in the future marriage market prospects of women appear to have influenced fertility behavior in the immediate aftermath of World War II.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/papers/pdf/SFB649DP2007-053.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2007-053.

as
in new window

Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2007-053
Contact details of provider: Postal: Spandauer Str. 1,10178 Berlin
Phone: +49-30-2093-5708
Fax: +49-30-2093-5617
Web page: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Robert J. Willis, 1999. "A Theory of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S33-S64, December.
  2. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L & Katz, Michael L, 1996. "An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 277-317, May.
  3. Dirk Bethmann & Michael Kvasnicka, 2007. "Uncertain Paternity, Mating Market Failure, and the Institution of Marriage," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2007-013, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  4. Pierre-André Chiappori & Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix, 2001. "Marriage Market, Divorce Legislation and Household Labor Supply," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-16, CIRANO.
  5. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1985. "Children as Collective Goods and Divorce Settlements," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 268-92, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2007-053. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (RDC-Team)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.