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Married to intolerance: Attitudes towards intermarriage in Germany, 1900-2006

  • Nico Voigtländer
  • Joachim Voth

Marriage is amongst the biggest decisions in life. In general, there is a tendency towards assortative matching – people marry others who are relatively similar to themselves. Intermarriage between different social, religious and ethnic groups in most societies is relatively rare (Blossfeld and Timm 2003). Where it occurs, it is associated with more rapid assimilation (Meng and Gregory 2005). The frequency of intermarriage can therefore serve as a useful indicator of tolerant attitudes towards a minority, and of the desire to integrate (Bisin, Topa, and Verdier 2004). In this paper, we analyze under which conditions intermarriage can be used as an indicator of tolerance, and whether such tolerant attitudes persisted in Germany during the last century. We combine information on individual-level attitudes from the German social survey (GESIS) with historical data on marriage patterns.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 1354.

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Date of creation: Dec 2012
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1354
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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  1. 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.
  2. Nico Voigtländer & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2012. "Persecution Perpetuated: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitic Violence in Nazi Germany," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1339-1392.
  3. 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.
  4. Xin Meng & Robert G. Gregory, 2005. "Intermarriage and the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 135-176, January.
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