Discussion Paper Details

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Title: More Choice for Men? Marriage Patterns after World War II in Italy

Author(s): Erich Battistin, Sascha O. Becker and Luca Nunziata

Publication Date: May 2020

Keyword(s): education, Marriage, Sex ratio and World War II

Programme Area(s): Economic History and Labour Economics

Abstract: We investigate how changes in the sex ratio induced by World War II affected the bargaining patterns of Italian men in the marriage market after the war. Marriage data from the first wave of the Italian Household Longitudinal Survey (1997) are matched with newly digitized information on war casualties coming from Italian National Bureau of Statistics. We find that men in post-war marriages were better off in terms of their spouse's education, this gain amounting to about half a year of education. By considering heterogeneity across provinces, we find that the effects were more pronounced in more rural provinces, mountainous provinces, and those with a higher share of population employed in agriculture. This suggests that here, the shock provided for a more fundamental change in marriage patterns compared to urban, lower-lying, and less agricultural provinces where marriage markets might have been more flexible to begin with.

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Bibliographic Reference

Battistin, E, Becker, S and Nunziata, L. 2020. 'More Choice for Men? Marriage Patterns after World War II in Italy'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.