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Women's Income and Marriage Markets in the United States: Evidence from the Civil War Pension

Laura Salisbury ()

The Journal of Economic History, 2017, vol. 77, issue 1, 1-38

Abstract: Under the Civil War pension act of 1862, Union Army widows were entitled to pensions; however, they lost these pensions if they remarried. Using a database compiled from widows' pension files, I estimate the effect this had on widows' remarriage decisions. I find that receiving a pension lowered the hazard rate of remarriage by 25 percent, which implies an increase in the median time to remarriage of 3.5 years. Among older women, the effect is greater. These results suggest that many Union Army widows faced highly unfavorable marriage prospects.

Date: 2017
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Working Paper: Women's Income and Marriage Markets in the United States: Evidence from the Civil War Pension (2014) Downloads
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