IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/sip/dpaper/07-050.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching

Author

Listed:
  • Ran Abramitzky

    (Department of Economics, Stanford Univeristy)

  • Adeline Delavande

    (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

  • Luis Vasconcelos

    (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

Abstract

We investigate the effect of a change in the sex ratio on assortative matching in the marriage market using a large negative exogenous shock to the French male population due to WWI casualties. We analyze a novel data set that links marriage-level data to both French censuses of population and regional data on military mortality. We instrument the potentially endogenous sex ratio with military mortality, which exhibits exogenous geographic variation. We find that men married women of higher social class than themselves (married up) more in regions that experienced a larger decrease in the sex ratio due to higher military mortality. A decrease in the sex ratio from one man for every woman to 0.90 men for every woman increased the probability that men married up by 8.2 percentage points. These findings shed light on individuals’ preferences for spouses. Rather than preferring to marry spouses with similar characteristics, individuals seem to prefer to marry higher-class spouses, but cannot do so when the sex ratio is balanced.

Suggested Citation

  • Ran Abramitzky & Adeline Delavande & Luis Vasconcelos, 2008. "Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching," Discussion Papers 07-050, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:07-050
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-siepr.stanford.edu/repec/sip/07-050.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rao, Vijayendra, 1993. "The Rising Price of Husbands: A Hedonic Analysis of Dowry Increases in Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 666-677, August.
    2. Linda Y. Wong, 2003. "Structural Estimation of Marriage Models," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 699-728, July.
    3. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, december.
    4. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2003. "Why Dowries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1385-1398, September.
    5. Bloch, Francis & Ryder, Harl, 2000. "Two-Sided Search, Marriages, and Matchmakers," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(1), pages 93-115, February.
    6. Alberto Bisin & Giorgio Topa & Thierry Verdier, 2004. "Religious Intermarriage and Socialization in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 615-664, June.
    7. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709.
    8. Raquel Fernández & Richard Rogerson, 2001. "Sorting and Long-Run Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1305-1341.
    9. Soohyung Lee, 2008. "Preferences and Choice Constraints in Marital Sorting: Evidence From Korea," Discussion Papers 07-042, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    10. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2002. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 730-770, August.
    11. Josh Angrist, 2002. "How Do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage and Labor Markets? Evidence from America's Second Generation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 997-1038.
    12. Theodore C. Bergstrom, "undated". "On the Economics of Polygyny," ELSE working papers 042, ESRC Centre on Economics Learning and Social Evolution.
    13. Derek Neal, 2004. "The Relationship Between Marriage Market Prospects and Never-Married Motherhood," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
    14. Heidrun C. Hoppe & Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela, 2009. "The Theory of Assortative Matching Based on Costly Signals," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 253-281.
    15. Ken Burdett & Melvyn G. Coles, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-168.
    16. Belot, M & Francesconi, M, 2006. "Can Anyone be "The" One? Evidence on Mate Selection from Speed Dating," Economics Discussion Papers 2594, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    17. Peter A. Diamond, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 217-227.
    18. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-846, July-Aug..
    19. Raymond Fisman & Sheena S. Iyengar & Emir Kamenica & Itamar Simonson, 2006. "Gender Differences in Mate Selection: Evidence From a Speed Dating Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 673-697.
    20. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Maitreesh Ghatak & Jeanne Lafortune, 2013. "Marry for What? Caste and Mate Selection in Modern India," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 33-72, May.
    21. Jeanne Lafortune, 2013. "Making Yourself Attractive: Pre-marital Investments and the Returns to Education in the Marriage Market," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 151-178, April.
    22. Ran Abramitzky & Adeline Delavande & Luis Vasconcelos, 2011. "Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 124-157, July.
    23. Botticini, Maristella, 1999. "A Loveless Economy? Intergenerational Altruism and the Marriage Market in a Tuscan Town, 1415–1436," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 104-121, March.
    24. Eugene Choo & Aloysius Siow, 2006. "Who Marries Whom and Why," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 175-201, February.
    25. Niko Matouschek & Imran Rasul, 2008. "The Economics of the Marriage Contract: Theories and Evidence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 59-110, February.
    26. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 11-26, Part II, .
    27. Edlund, Lena, 1997. "Dowry Inflation: A Comment," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 193, Stockholm School of Economics.
    28. Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix, 2002. "Marriage Market, Divorce Legislation, and Household Labor Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 37-72, February.
    29. Günter Hitsch & Ali Hortaçsu & Dan Ariely, 2010. "What makes you click?—Mate preferences in online dating," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 393-427, December.
    30. Lena Edlund, 2000. "The Marriage Squeeze Interpretation of Dowry Inflation: A Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1327-1333, December.
    31. Murat Nick & P. Randall Walsh, 2007. "Building the Family Nest: Premarital Investments, Marriage Markets, and Spousal Allocations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 507-535.
    32. Robert J. Willis, 1999. "A Theory of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 33-64, December.
    33. Pencavel, John, 1998. "Assortative Mating by Schooling and the Work Behavior of Wives and Husbands," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 326-329, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Belot, Michèle & Francesconi, Marco, 2007. "Can anyone be 'the' one? Field evidence on dating behavior," ISER Working Paper Series 2007-17, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Du, Julan & Wang, Yongqin & Zhang, Yan, 2015. "Sex imbalance, marital matching and intra-household bargaining: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 197-218.
    3. Ogasawara, Kota & Komura, Mizuki, 2020. "Consequences of War: Japan's Demographic Transition and the Marriage Market," IZA Discussion Papers 13885, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Belot, M & Francesconi, M, 2006. "Can Anyone be "The" One? Evidence on Mate Selection from Speed Dating," Economics Discussion Papers 2594, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    5. Michèle Belot & Marco Francesconi, 2013. "Dating Preferences and Meeting Opportunities in Mate Choice Decisions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(2), pages 474-508.
    6. Soohyung Lee, 2008. "Preferences and Choice Constraints in Marital Sorting: Evidence From Korea," Discussion Papers 07-042, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    7. Daiji Kawaguchi & Soohyung Lee, 2017. "Brides For Sale: Cross-Border Marriages And Female Immigration," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(2), pages 633-654, April.
    8. Kota Ogasawara & Erika Igarashi, 2021. "The Impacts of the Gender Imbalance on Marriage and Birth: Evidence from World War II in Japan," Papers 2102.00687, arXiv.org.
    9. Fang, Li & Tian, Chuanhao, 2018. "Housing and marital matching: A signaling perspective," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 27-46.
    10. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Maitreesh Ghatak & Jeanne Lafortune, 2013. "Marry for What? Caste and Mate Selection in Modern India," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 33-72, May.
    11. Aloysius Siow & Eugene Choo, 2007. "Lifecycle marriage matching: Theory and Evidence," 2007 Meeting Papers 550, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Chowdhury, Shyamal & Mallick, Debdulal & Roy Chowdhury, Prabal, 2020. "Natural shocks and marriage markets: Fluctuations in mehr and dowry in Muslim marriages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    13. Gavrilova, Evelina, 2019. "A partner in crime: Assortative matching and bias in the crime market," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 598-612.
    14. Belot, Michèle & Fidrmuc, Jan, 2010. "Anthropometry of love: Height and gender asymmetries in interethnic marriages," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 361-372, December.
    15. Abi Adams & Alison Andrew, 2019. "Preferences and beliefs in the marriage market for young brides," IFS Working Papers W19/05, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    16. Gonzalez, Libertad, 2007. "The effect of benefits on single motherhood in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 393-412, June.
    17. Pieter A. Gautier & Michael Svarer & Coenraad N. Teulings, 2005. "Marriage and the City," CESifo Working Paper Series 1422, CESifo.
    18. Bovet, Jeanne & Raiber, Eva & Ren, Weiwei & Seabright, Paul & Wang, Charlotte, 2021. "What Do Parents Want? Parental Spousal Preferences in China," CEPR Discussion Papers 16035, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Arnaud Dupuy, 2021. "Migration in China: To work or to wed?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(4), pages 393-415, June.
    20. Coles, M & Francesconi, M, 2013. "Equilibrium Search and the Impact of Equal Opportunities for Women," Economics Discussion Papers 9010, University of Essex, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Marriage; sex ratio; assortative matching; social classes.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:07-050. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cestaus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Anne Shor The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Anne Shor to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cestaus.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.