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The University of Southampton
EconomicsPart of Economic, Social and Political Science

1305 Dymanic Squeezing: Marriage and Fertility in France After World War One (J.Knowles & G. Vandenbroucke)

Paper number:1305

Authors: John Knowles (University of Southampton, UK) and Guillaume Vandenbroucke (University of Southern California)


Unmarried people undoubtedly differ in their preferences for marriage, and such differences are likely to be linked to their preferences for children. We propose a model of people searching for marriage partners in which ageing and fertility propensities determine  marriage probabilities. We apply our model to a quantitative analysis of the post-war marriage boom that began in France in 1918. We find that wartime shocks to the marriage market are perpetuated across generations and cause persistent increases in marital birthrates. Heterogeneity in women's propensity to bear children accounts for most of the increase in marriage relative to trend. We sketch out other applications, notably the impact of the one-child policy in China on marriage rates.

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