The Effects of Cohort Size on Marriage Markets in Twentieth Century Sweden

Show simple item record Bergstrom, Theodore C. en_US Lam, David en_US 2013-11-14T23:23:06Z 2013-11-14T23:23:06Z 1989-11 en_US
dc.identifier.other MichU DeptE CenREST W91-6 en_US
dc.identifier.other J120 en_US
dc.description.abstract Large, short-run fluctuations in the birth rate have been an important demographic feature of industrialized, low-fertility populations in the twentieth century. Since females normally marry men who are two or three years older than themselves, these fluctuations result in large imbalances between the size of male and female cohorts who would normally marry each other. These imbalances must somehow be resolved, either by a change in traditional patterns of age at marriage or by changes in the proportions of the population of one sex or the other who ever marry. Following a suggestion of Becker (1974,1981), we have developed a developed an implementable general equilibrium model of marriage assignments, which can be used to predict the way in which marriage patterns adjust to change in the numbers of males and females in each cohort. This model poses equilibrium in the marriage market as and application of the {\it linear programming assignment problem}, which was introduced to economics by Koopmans and Beckman (1987). For the purposes of this paper, we suppose that persons of the same sex differ only by the year in which they were born. Each individual has a preferred age of marriage. Any two people who marry each other must, of course, marry at the same time. Therefore, the total payoff to a marriage between any male and female is a function of the age difference between them. The more their age difference diverges from the difference between their preferred ages at marriage, the greater the greater must be the loss of utility to one or both from marrying at an age that is not ideal. If we posit a particular payoff structure to marriages as a function of the age of marriage of each partner, then given the size of each cohort, we can compute the optimal assignment of marriage partners by cohort. The fit of the predicted assignments from our model can then be compared with actual marriage patterns. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Center for Research on Economic and Social Theory, Department of Economics, University of Michigan en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries CREST Working Paper en_US
dc.subject Marriage Squeeze Birth Rates Matching Sweden Assignment Problem en_US
dc.subject.other Marriage en_US
dc.subject.other Marital Dissolution en_US
dc.subject.other Family Structure en_US
dc.subject.other Domestic Abuse en_US
dc.subject.other Sweden en_US
dc.title The Effects of Cohort Size on Marriage Markets in Twentieth Century Sweden en_US
dc.type Working Paper en_US
dc.subject.hlbsecondlevel Economics en_US
dc.subject.hlbtoplevel Social Sciences en_US
dc.owningcollname Economics, Department of - Working Papers Series
 Show simple item record

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Search Deep Blue

Advanced Search

Browse by

My Account


Coming Soon

MLibrary logo