Older Yet Fairer: How Extended Reproductive Time Horizons Reshaped Marriage Patterns in Israel

Naomi Gershoni, Corinne Low

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Ilyana Kuziemko was coeditor for this article. We are grateful for the advice of Analia Schlosser, Pierre-André Chiappori, Cristian Pop-Eleches, and Yoram Weiss. We thank Tal Gross, David Weiss, Moshe Hazan, Alma Cohen, Neale Mahoney, Olivia Mitchell, Maya Rossin-Slater, and the participants at the NBER Summer Institute for helpful comments, and Jennie Huang and Ting Wang for excellent research assistance. We thank the staff of Tel Aviv University and the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics for facilitating data access. The authors gratefully acknowledge research funding from the Wharton Dean's Research fund, the Wharton Pension Research Council/Boettner Center for Pensions and Retirement Research, and the Population Studies Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Opinions and views are solely the responsibility of the authors. Israel's 1994 adoption of free in vitro fertilization (IVF) provides a natural experiment for how fertility time horizons impact women's marriage timing and other outcomes. We find a substantial increase in average age at first marriage following the policy change, using both men and Arab-Israeli women as comparison groups. This shift appears to be driven by both increased marriages by older women and younger women delaying marriage. Age at first birth also increased. Placebo and robustness checks help pinpoint IVF as the source of the change. Our findings suggest age-limited fertility materially impacts women's life timing and outcomes relative to men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-234
Number of pages37
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)


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