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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: Vol. 3 No. 3 (July 2011)

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Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching

Article Citation

Abramitzky, Ran, Adeline Delavande, and Luis Vasconcelos. 2011. "Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 3(3): 124-57.

DOI: 10.1257/app.3.3.124

Abstract

We assemble a novel dataset to study the impact of male scarcity on marital assortative matching and other marriage market outcomes using the large shock that WWI caused to the number of French men. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find that postwar in regions with higher mortality rates: men were less likely to marry women of lower social classes; men were more likely and women less likely to marry; out-of-wedlock births increased; divorce rates decreased; and the age gap decreased. These findings are consistent with men improving their position in the marriage market as they become scarcer. (JEL J12, J16, N34)

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Authors

Abramitzky, Ran (Stanford U)
Delavande, Adeline (New U Lisbon and RAND Corporation)
Vasconcelos, Luis (New U Lisbon)

JEL Classifications

J12: Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure; Domestic Abuse
J16: Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
N34: Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy: Europe: 1913-

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