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

63 Pages Posted: 20 May 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

S. Jessica Zhu

Precision Agriculture for Developmen

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2020

Abstract

Skewed sex ratios often result from conflict, disease, and migration, yet their long term impact remains 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, high rates of out-of-wedlock births and a generally male chauvinist culture. We collate historical and modern data to test this conventional wisdom in the short and the long run. We examine both cross-border and within-country variation in child-rearing, education and labor force participation 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, and better female educational outcomes, even after the first returned to normal. Cross-country comparisons suggest that Paraguayan women are less likely to be employed than those in neighboring districts in Argentina and Brazil, but that within Paraguay, they are more likely to be employed where the sex ratio shock was more severe. The impacts of the war persist into the present, and are seemingly unaffected by variation in economic openness, uncertainty, or traditional norms.

Keywords: conflict, Education, Female Labor Force Participation, Gender, History, Illegitimacy, Latin America, Paraguay, Persistence

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

Suggested Citation

Alix-Garcia, Jennifer and Schechter, Laura and Valencia Caicedo, Felipe and Zhu, S. Jessica, Country of Women? Repercussions of the Triple Alliance War in Paraguay (May 2020). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14752, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3603984

Jennifer Alix-Garcia (Contact Author)

Oregon State University - Department of Applied Economics ( email )

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

Laura Schechter

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/

S. Jessica Zhu

Precision Agriculture for Developmen ( email )

United States

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