Large, But Adaptable? A Successful Population Policy and Its Long Term Effects



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A restrictive population policy led to almost doubling the number of newborns from one year to another in Romania in the 1960s. Twenty years later, this large generation (of women) enters a marriage market with few eligible older mates, in a society where marriage is a must. In this article, I analyze this social experiment within the broader frame of the marriage squeeze/two sex models. Using various data from censuses and surveys, I argue that the marriage market is flexible even when is confronted with disproportionately large cohorts. If the social pressure toward marriage is strong, the marriage rates do not necessarily fall, but the mating age patterns change.


This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Population Research and Policy Review. The final authenticated version is available online at:


Population policy, Europe, Eastern, Romanians, Abortion, Government policy


Bradatan, C. (2009). Large, but adaptable? A successful population policy and its long term effects. Population research and policy review, 28(4), 389-404.