Country of Women? Repercussions of the Triple Alliance War in Paraguay

65 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2020 Last revised: 29 Dec 2020

See all articles by Jennifer Alix-Garcia

Jennifer Alix-Garcia

Oregon State University - Department of Applied Economics

Laura Schechter

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Agricultural and Applied Economics; University of Wisconsin at Madison - Economics

Felipe Valencia Caicedo

Vancouver School of Economics

Siyao Jessica Zhu

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 28, 2020

Abstract

Skewed sex ratios often result from episodes of conflict, disease, and migration. Their persistent impacts over a century later, and especially in less-developed regions, remain less understood. The War of the Triple Alliance (1864--1870) in South America killed up to 70\% of the Paraguayan male population. According to Paraguayan national lore, the skewed sex ratios resulting from the conflict are the cause of present-day low marriage rates and high rates of out-of-wedlock births. We collate historical and modern data to test this conventional wisdom in the short, medium, and long run. We examine both cross-border and within-country variation in child-rearing, education, labor force participation, and gender norms in Paraguay over a 150 year period. We find that more skewed post-war sex ratios are associated with higher out-of-wedlock births, more female-headed households, better female educational outcomes, higher female labor force participation, and more gender-equal gender norms. The impacts of the war persist into the present, and are seemingly unaffected by variation in economic openness or ties to indigenous culture.

Keywords: Conflict, Gender, Fertility, Female Labor Force Participation, Education, History, Persistence, Paraguay, Latin America

JEL Classification: D74, I25, J16, J21, N16

Suggested Citation

Alix-Garcia, Jennifer and Schechter, Laura and Valencia Caicedo, Felipe and Zhu, Siyao Jessica, Country of Women? Repercussions of the Triple Alliance War in Paraguay (December 28, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3598489 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3598489

Jennifer Alix-Garcia

Oregon State University - Department of Applied Economics ( email )

213 Ballard Extension Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331-4501
United States

Laura Schechter (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Agricultural and Applied Economics ( email )

427 Lorch St.
Madison, WI 53706-1503
United States

HOME PAGE: http://aae.wisc.edu/lschechter

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Economics ( email )

William H. Sewell Social Science Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States

HOME PAGE: http://aae.wisc.edu/lschechter

Felipe Valencia Caicedo

Vancouver School of Economics ( email )

997-1873 East Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://https://economics.ubc.ca/faculty-and-staff/felipe-valencia-caicedo/

Siyao Jessica Zhu

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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