Fertility Shocks and Equilibrium Marriage-Rate Dynamics

59 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2015 Last revised: 21 Feb 2019

See all articles by John Knowles

John Knowles

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Department of Economics

Guillaume Vandenbroucke

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Date Written: 2015-03-01

Abstract

Why did the marriage probability of single females in France after World War 1 rise 50% above its pre-war average, despite a 33% drop in the male/female singles ratio? We conjecture that war-time disruption of the marriage market generated an abnormal abundance of men with relatively high marriage propensities. Our model of matching over the lifecycle, when calibrated to pre-war data and two war-time shocks, succeeds in matching the French time path under the additional assumption of a pro-natalist post-war preference shock. We conclude that endogeneity issues make the sex ratio a potentially unreliable indicator of female marriage prospects.

Keywords: Family Economics, Household Formation, Marriage, Fertility.

JEL Classification: D10, E13, J12, J13, O11

Suggested Citation

Knowles, John and Vandenbroucke, Guillaume, Fertility Shocks and Equilibrium Marriage-Rate Dynamics (2015-03-01). FRB St. Louis Working Paper No. 2015-7. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2646146 or http://dx.doi.org/10.20955/wp.2015.007

John Knowles (Contact Author)

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Department of Economics ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Canada

Guillaume Vandenbroucke

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis ( email )

411 Locust St
Saint Louis, MO 63011
United States
+1 314 444 8717 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.guillaumevdb.net/

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