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Fertility Shocks and Equilibrium Marriage-Rate Dynamics: Lessons from World War 1 in France

Author

Listed:
  • Guillaume Vandenbroucke

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis)

  • John Knowles

    (Simon Fraser University)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Guillaume Vandenbroucke & John Knowles, 2016. "Fertility Shocks and Equilibrium Marriage-Rate Dynamics: Lessons from World War 1 in France," 2016 Meeting Papers 561, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed016:561
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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.

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