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Social Change

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  • Jeremy Greenwood
  • Nezih Guner

Abstract

Social norms are influenced by the technological environment that a society faces. Behavioral modes reflect purposive decision making by individuals, given the environment they live in. Thus, as technology changes, so might social norms. There were big changes in social norms during the 20th century, especially in sexual mores. In 1900 only six percent of unwed women engaged in premarital sex. Now, three quarters do. It is argued here that this was the result of technological improvement in contraceptives, which lowered the cost of premarital sex. The evolution from an abstinent to a promiscuous society is studied using an equilibrium matching model

Suggested Citation

  • Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2006. "Social Change," 2006 Meeting Papers 79, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed006:79
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2014. "From Shame To Game In One Hundred Years: An Economic Model Of The Rise In Premarital Sex And Its De-Stigmatization," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 25-61, February.
    2. Zvi Eckstein & Osnat Lifshitz, 2011. "Dynamic Female Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(6), pages 1675-1726, November.
    3. Fabio Mariani, 2012. "The economic value of virtue," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 323-356, December.
    4. D'Orlando, Fabio, 2010. "Swinger economics," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 295-305, April.
    5. Alessandra Fogli & Laura Veldkamp, 2011. "Nature or Nurture? Learning and the Geography of Female Labor Force Participation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(4), pages 1103-1138, July.
    6. Larry E. Jones & Michele Tertilt, 2006. "An Economic History of Fertility in the U.S.: 1826-1960," NBER Working Papers 12796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Larry E. Jones & Alice Schoonbroodt & Michèle Tertilt, 2010. "Fertility Theories: Can They Explain the Negative Fertility-Income Relationship?," NBER Chapters,in: Demography and the Economy, pages 43-100 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Alessandra Fogli & Laura Veldkamp, 2007. "Nature or nurture? learning and female labor force dynamics," Staff Report 386, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    9. Raquel Fernandez, 2007. "Culture as Learning: The Evolution of Female Labor Force Participation over a Century," NBER Working Papers 13373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Fernández, Raquel, 2007. "Culture as Learning: The Evolution of Female Labour Force Participation Over a Century," CEPR Discussion Papers 6451, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social change; the sexual revolution; technological progress in contraceptives; bilateral search.;

    JEL classification:

    • E1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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