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Will you marry me? It depends (on the business cycle)


  • Bellido, Héctor
  • Marcén, Miriam


This paper studies the effect of the business cycle on the marriage rate, using a panel data of 30 European countries covering 1991 to 2013. We find a negative effect of the business cycle on the marriage rate, pointing to the pro-cyclical behaviour of marriage decisions, which holds after controlling for country-level specific characteristics and family law, and after taking possible endogeneity problems into account. We also analyse this issue considering a wide range of country-level regulations affecting couples (taxation, property division, and reproduction, among others). Supplemental analysis reveals gender differences in the impact of the business cycle on the marital decision, depending on the previous legal marital status of the individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Bellido, Héctor & Marcén, Miriam, 2018. "Will you marry me? It depends (on the business cycle)," GLO Discussion Paper Series 229, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:229

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    Cited by:

    1. Miriam Marcén & Marina Morales, 2019. "Live together: does culture matter?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 671-713, June.

    More about this item


    Marriage; unemployment; business cycle;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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