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Faculty of Economics

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Dennison, T. and Ogilvie, S.

Does the European marriage pattern explain economic growth?

Journal of Economic History

Abstract: This article scrutinizes the recently postulated link between the European Marriage Pattern (EMP) and economic success. Multivariate analysis of 4,705 demographic observations, covering women's marriage age, female lifetime celibacy, and household complexity in 39 European countries, shows that the most extreme manifestations of the EMP were associated with economic stagnation rather than growth. There is no evidence that the EMP improved economic performance by empowering women, increasing human capital investment, adjusting population to economic trends, or sustaining beneficial cultural norms. European economic success was not caused by the EMP and its sources must therefore be sought in other factors.

JEL Codes: N

Author links: Sheilagh Ogilvie  

Publisher's Link: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayFulltext?type=6&fid=9335237&jid=JEH&volumeId=74&issueId=03&aid=9335236&bodyId=&membershipNumber=&societyETOCSession=&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S0022050714000564



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