Marrying up: The role of sex ratio in assortative matching

Publication Type:
Journal Article
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2011, 3, (3), pp. 124-157
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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.
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