Does the European Marriage Pattern Explain Economic Growth?

53 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2013

See all articles by T. K. Dennison

T. K. Dennison

California Institute of Technology

Sheilagh Ogilvie

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: May 31, 2013

Abstract

This paper scrutinizes the recently postulated link between the European Marriage Pattern (EMP) and economic success. A metastudy of the historical demography literature shows that the EMP did not prevail throughout Europe, its three key components did not always coincide, and its more extreme manifestations were associated with economic stagnation rather than growth. There is no evidence that the EMP improved economic performance by empowering women, increasing human capital investment, adjusting population to economic trends, or sustaining beneficial cultural norms. European economic success was not caused by the EMP and its sources must therefore be sought in other factors.

Keywords: European Marriage Pattern, nuptiality, household structure, population growth, women, human capital, culture, institutions

JEL Classification: J120, J130, K000, N330, O170

Suggested Citation

Dennison, Tracy K. and Ogilvie, Sheilagh, Does the European Marriage Pattern Explain Economic Growth? (May 31, 2013). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4244. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2274606

Tracy K. Dennison

California Institute of Technology ( email )

Pasadena, CA 91125
United States

Sheilagh Ogilvie (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Austin Robinson Building
Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge, CB3 9DD
United Kingdom
44-1223-335200 (Phone)
44-1223-335475 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/people/faculty/sco2

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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