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Using aggregated data from 25 developed countries over a lengthy period of time, this article presents a measure of the marriage boom observed in the twentieth century and an explanation for its causes. One of my main conclusions is that even though it basically developed after the Second World War, its origins are to be found before it. I found that, contrary to the views of some scholars, this boom was not a short-lived phenomenon, but actually lasted for 90years on average. Using panel data analysis techniques, I am able to show that the rise in women's education, state spending on social benefits, and larger percentages of people employed in the primary sector tended to discourage marriage. I also found a quadratic relationship between the nuptiality index and the per capita income and mortality rates.
marriage boom; marriage bust; welfare; gross domestic product; mortality; female education; occupational composition of the population