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Social Change: The Sexual Revolution

In 1900 only six percent of unwed females engaged in premarital sex. Now, three quarters do. The sexual revolution is studied here using an equilibrium matching model, where the costs of premarital sex fall over time due to technological improvement in contraceptives. Individuals differ in their desire for sex. Given this, people tend to circulate in social groups where prospective partners share their views on premarital sex. To the extent that a society's customs and mores reflect the aggregation of decentralized decision making by its members, shifts in the economic environment may induce changes in what is perceived as culture.

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File URL: http://rcer.econ.rochester.edu/RCERPAPERS/rcer_550.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER) in its series RCER Working Papers with number 550.

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Length: 61 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:roc:rocher:550
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University of Rochester, Center for Economic Research, Department of Economics, Harkness 231 Rochester, New York 14627 U.S.A.

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  1. Cole, Harold L & Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Social Norms, Savings Behavior, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1092-1125, December.
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  7. Andolfatto, David & Gomme, Paul, 1996. "Unemployment insurance and labor-market activity in Canada," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 47-82, June.
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  20. S. Rao Aiyagari & Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2000. "On the State of the Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 213-244, April.
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  22. Albanesi, Stefania & Olivetti, Claudia, 2015. "Gender roles and medical progress," Staff Reports 720, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  23. Ken Burdett & Melvyn G. Coles, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-168.
  24. Pinkerton, Steven D. & Abramson, Paul R., 1997. "Effectiveness of condoms in preventing HIV transmission," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1303-1312, May.
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