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WAR, MARRIAGE MARKETS AND THE SEX RATIO AT BIRTH

Dirk Bethmann and Michael Kvasnicka

No 110023, FEMM Working Papers from Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management

Abstract: In belligerent countries, male-to-female sex ratios at birth increased during and shortly after the two world wars. These rises still defy explanation. Several causes have been suggested (but not tested) in the literature. Many of these causes are proximate in nature, reflecting behavioral responses to the dramatically changed marriage market conditions for women and men that were induced by war-related declines in adult sex ratios. Based on county-level census data for the German state of Bavaria in the vicinity and aftermath of World War II, we explore the reduced-form relationship between changes in adult and offspring sex ratios. Our results suggest that war-induced shortfalls of men signficantly increased the percentage of boys among newborns.

Keywords: World War II; Adult Sex Ratio; Marriage Markets; Sex Ratio at Birth (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 19 pages
Date: 2011-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem
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http://www.fww.ovgu.de/fww_media/femm/femm_2011/2011_23.pdf First version, 2011 (application/pdf)

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Journal Article: War, Marriage Markets, and the Sex Ratio at Birth (2014) Downloads
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