Social Change: The Sexual Revolution

Economie d'Avant Garde Research Paper No. 9

62 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2006 Last revised: 20 May 2009

See all articles by Jeremy Greenwood

Jeremy Greenwood

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Nezih Guner

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 1, 2009

Abstract

In 1900 only six percent of unwed females engaged in premarital sex. Now, three quarters do. The sexual revolution is studied here using an equilibrium matching model, where the costs of premarital sex fall over time due to technological improvement in contraceptives. Individuals differ in their desire for sex. Given this, people tend to circulate in social groups where prospective partners share their views on premarital sex. To the extent that a society's customs and mores reflect the aggregation of decentralized decision making by its members, shifts in the economic environment may induce changes in what is perceived as culture.

Keywords: Social change, the sexual revolution, technological progress in contraceptives, bilateral search

JEL Classification: E1, J1, O3

Suggested Citation

Greenwood, Jeremy and Guner, Nezih, Social Change: The Sexual Revolution (May 1, 2009). Economie d'Avant Garde Research Paper No. 9. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=873156

Jeremy Greenwood

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States
215-898-1505 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://jeremygreenwood.net

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Nezih Guner (Contact Author)

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid ( email )

CL. de Madrid 126
Madrid, Madrid 28903
Spain

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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