Unbalanced Sex Ratios in Germany Caused by World War II and their Effect on Fertility: A Life Cycle Perspective

Iris Kesternich, Bettina Siflinger, James P. Smith, Carina Steckenleiter

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Abstract

This paper analyses long-term effects of highly unbalanced sex ratios in Germany caused by World War II on fertility outcomes over the life cycle. By using Census data linked with individual biography data, we find that a permanent reduction in the number of men delayed women’s first birth. However,
the effects crucially depend on at what age fertility of women is evaluated. While women with low sex ratios have fewer children at younger ages, they compensate at later ages. We also find substitution from the extensive towards the intensive margin. Mechanisms are marrying later, accepting lower quality matches and expanding the child-bearing period.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherCentER, Center for Economic Research
Number of pages50
Volume2018-032
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2018

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper
Volume2018-032

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Keywords

  • sex ratio
  • fertility
  • marriage
  • life cycle
  • World War II

Cite this

Kesternich, I., Siflinger, B., Smith, J. P., & Steckenleiter, C. (2018). Unbalanced Sex Ratios in Germany Caused by World War II and their Effect on Fertility: A Life Cycle Perspective. (CentER Discussion Paper; Vol. 2018-032). Tilburg: CentER, Center for Economic Research.