Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

MARRIAGE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

  • Alessio Moro (a1), Solmaz Moslehi (a2) and Satoshi Tanaka (a3)
Abstract:

There is an extensive literature discussing how individuals’ marriage behavior changes as a country develops. However, no existing data set allows an explicit investigation of the relationship between marriage and economic development. In this paper, we construct new cross-country panel data on marital statistics for 16 OECD countries from 1900 to 2000, in order to analyze such a relationship. We use this data set, together with cross-country data on real GDP per capita and the value added share of agriculture, manufacturing, and services sectors, to document two novel stylized facts. First, the fraction of a country’s population that is married displays a hump-shaped relationship with the level of real GDP per capita. Second, the fraction of the married correlates positively with the share of manufacturing in GDP. We conclude that the stage of economic development of a country is a key factor that affects individuals’ family formation decisions.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Address correspondence to: Alessio Moro, Department of Economics and Business, University of Cagliari, Via Sant’Ignazio 17, 09123, Cagliari, Italy; e-mail: amoro@unica.it.
Footnotes
Hide All

We thank Michele Boldrin, Nezih Guner, Diego Restuccia, José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, and seminar participants at the University of Queensland, University of Technology Sydney, University of Sassari, University of Melbourne, Monash University, the Econometric Society North American Meeting (Minneapolis), Public Economic Theory (Seattle), the Southern Workshop in Macroeconomics (Auckland), the Summer School in Economic Growth (Capri), the V Workshop on Institutions, Individual Behavior and Economic Outcomes (Alghero), and the Third Workshop on Structural Change and Macroeconomic Dynamics (PSE) for the useful comments. Stojanka Andric provided excellent research assistance. The data and Stata codes used in this paper are available online at https://github.com/econtanaka/JODE_Moro_Moslehi_Tanaka. The usual disclaimers apply.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Abramitzky, R., Delavande, A., and Vasconcelos, L. (2011) Marrying up: The role of sex ratio in assortative matching. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 3 (3), 124157.
Angrist, J. (2002) How do sex ratios affect marriage and labor markets? Evidence from America’s second generation. Quarterly Journal of Economics 117 (3), 9971038.
Autor, D., Dorn, D., and Hanson, G. (2017) When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage-Market Value of Men. National Bureau of Economic Research NBER Working Paper No. 23173.
Becker, G. S. (1973) A theory of marriage: Part I. Journal of Political Economy 81 (4), 813846.
Becker, G. S. (1981) A Treatise on the Family. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Press.
Bertrand, M., Cortés, P., Olivetti, C., and Pan, J. (2016) Social Norms, Labor Market Opportunities, and the Marriage Gap for Skilled Women. National Bureau of Economic Research NBER Working Paper No. 22015.
Buera, F. J. and Kaboski, J. (2012a) The rise of the service economy. American Economic Review 102 (6), 25402569.
Buera, F. J. and Kaboski, J. P. (2012b) Scale and the origins of structural change. Journal of Economic Theory 147 (2), 684712.
Cameron, A. C. and Trivedi, P. K. (2005) Microeconometrics: Methods and Applications. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Chade, H. and Ventura, G. (2002) Taxes and marriage: A two-sided search analysis. International Economic Review 43 (3), 955985.
Chesnais, J.-C. (1992) The Demographic Transition: Stages, Patterns, and Economic Implications. Gloucestershire, UK: Clarendon Press.
Chiappori, P.-A., Salanié, B., and Weiss, Y. (2017) Partner choice and the marital college premium: Analyzing marital patterns over several decades. American Economic Review 107 (8), 21092167.
Fernández, R., Guner, N., and Knowles, J. (2005) Love and Money: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Household Sorting and Inequality. Quarterly Journal of Economics 120 (1), 273344.
Galor, O. (2005) From stagnation to growth: Unified growth theory. Handbook of Economic Growth 1, 171293.
Galor, O. and Weil, D. N. (1996) The gender gap, fertility, and growth. American Economic Review 86 (3), 374–87.
Galor, O. and Weil, D. N. (2000) Population, technology, and growth: From malthusian stagnation to the demographic transition and beyond. American Economic Review 90 (4), 806806.
Goldin, C. (1995) The U-shaped female labor force function in economic development and economic history. In Investment in Women’s Human Capital and Economic Development. Chicago, USA: University of Chicago Press.
Greenwood, J. and Guner, N. (2008) Marriage and divorce since World War II: Analyzing the role of technological progress on the formation of households. NBER Macroeconomics Annual 23 (1), 231276.
Greenwood, J., Guner, N., and Knowles, J. A. (2003) More on marriage, fertility, and the distribution of income. International Economic Review 44 (3), 827862.
Greenwood, J., Guner, N., Kocharkov, G., and Santos, C. (2016) Technology and the changing family: A unified model of marriage, divorce, educational attainment, and married female labor-force participation. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 8 (1), 141.
Herrendorf, B., Rogerson, R., and Valentinyi, Á. (2013) Two perspectives on preferences and structural transformation. American Economic Review 103 (7), 27522789.
Herrendorf, B., Rogerson, R., and Valentinyi, Á. (2014) Growth and structural transformation. Handbook of Economic Growth 2, 855941.
Iyigun, M. and Lafortune, J. (2016) Why wait? A Century of Education, Marriage Timing and Gender Roles. IZA - Institute of Labor Economics, IZA Discussion Paper No. 9671.
Kimura, M. and Yasui, D. (2010) The Galor–Weil gender-gap model revisited: From home to market. Journal of Economic Growth 15 (4), 323351.
Kongsamut, P., Rebelo, S., and Xie, D. (2001) Beyond balanced growth. Review of Economic Studies 68 (4), 869882.
Lam, D. (1988) Marriage markets and assortative mating with household public goods: Theoretical results and empirical implications. Journal of Human Resources 23 (4), 462487.
Lundström, H. (1999) Befolkningsutvecklingen under 250 År: Historisk Statistik för Sverige. Stockholm, Sweden: Statistiska Centralbyrån.
Maddison, A. (2005) Measuring and interpreting world economic performance 1500–2001. Review of Income and Wealth 51 (1), 135.
Minnesota Population Center (2014) Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, International: Version 6.3 [Machine-readable database]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota.
Mitchell, B. (2007) International Historical Statistics 1750–2005. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Moro, A., Moslehi, S., and Tanaka, S. (2017) Does home production drive Structural transformation?. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 9 (3), 116–46.
Ngai, L. R. and Petrongolo, B. (2017) Gender gaps and the rise of the service economy. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 9 (4), 144.
Ngai, L. R. and Pissarides, C. A. (2007) Structural change in a multisector model of growth. American Economic Review 97 (1), 429443.
Olivetti, C. (2014) The female labor force and long-run development: The American experience in comparative perspective. In Boustan, C. F. L. Platt and Margo, R. (eds.), Human Capital in History: The American Record. University of Chicago Press.
Olivetti, C. and Petrongolo, B. (2014) Gender gaps across countries and skills: Demand, supply and the industry structure. Review of Economic Dynamics 17 (4), 842859.
Regalia, F., Ríos-Rull, J.-V., and Short, J. (2011) What Accounts for the Increase in the Number of Single Households? University of Pennsylvania, Mimeo.
Rendall, M. (2013) Structural change in developing countries: Has it decreased gender inequality?. World Development 45, 116.
Rendall, M. (2017a) Brain versus Brawn: The Realization of Women’s Comparative Advantage. University of Zurich, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, Working Paper No. 491.
Rendall, M. (2017b) Female Market Work, Tax Regimes, and the Rise of the Service Sector. Review of Economic Dynamics, forthcoming.
Ritzmann-Blickenstorfer, H. (1996) Historische Statistik der Schweiz. Eisengasse, Zürich, Switzerland: Chronos-Verlag.
Ruggles, S., Genadek, K., Goeken, R., Grover, J., and Sobek, M. (2015) Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 6.0 [dataset]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota. http://doi.org/10.18128/D010.V6.0.
Schoen, R., Urton, W., Woodrow, K., and Bai, J. (1985) Marriage and divorce in twentieth century American cohorts. Demography 22 (1), 101114.
Stevenson, B. and Wolfers, J. (2007) Marriage and divorce: Changes and their driving forces. Journal of Economic Perspectives 21 (2), 2752.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Demographic Economics
  • ISSN: 2054-0892
  • EISSN: 2054-0906
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-demographic-economics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed