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Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching

Abramitzky, R and Delavande, A and Vasconcelos, LI (2010) Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching. UNSPECIFIED. Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Discussion Papers, 09-030.

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By observing the large negative exogenous shock to the French male population from to WWI casualties, we study the effect of a change in the sex ratio on marital assortative matching by social class. First, we analyzed a novel data set that links marriage-level to French population and military mortality. Then, we calculated the sex ratio in a region with military mortality, which exhibits exogenous geographic variation. Ultimately, we found that men married women of higher social class than themselves more often in regions that experienced a larger decrease in the sex ratio. A decrease in the sex ratio of man to woman from 1.00 to 0.90 increased the probability that men married up by 8 percent. These findings provide insight into individuals' preferences for spouses. Men appear to prefer to marry higher-class spouses, but cannot do so when the sex ratio is balanced.

Item Type: Monograph (UNSPECIFIED)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Marriage; sex ratio; assortative matching; social classes
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2012 14:30
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2017 16:18

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