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Title:Why are more boys born during war? Evidence from Germany at mid century PDF Logo
Authors:Bethmann, Dirk
Kvasnicka, Michael
Issue Date:2009
Series/Report no.:Ruhr economic papers 154
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 off spring sex ratios. Our results suggest that war-induced shortfalls of men significantly increased the percentage of boys among newborns.
Subjects:World War II
adult sex ratio
sex ratio at birth
JEL:J12
J13
N34
ISBN:978-3-86788-174-6
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:Ruhr Economic Papers, RWI
Publikationen von Forscherinnen und Forschern des RWI

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