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Desperate Housewives? Communication Difficulties and the Dynamics of Marital (un)Happiness

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  • Peter Thompson

Abstract

The quality of a marriage depends on the proximity of a collective action to a unknown target. Individuals receive private signals about the target, and can communicate them only imperfectly to their spouses. Because of imperfect communication, spouses may hold different beliefs about the optimal action. If a couple's beliefs diverge too widely, one or both of them may prefer to dissolve the marriage. The article explores how poor communication contributes to marital unhappiness, as well as its implications for the dynamics of divorce risk, the welfare properties of divorce decisions and the role of counselling. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2008.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 118 (2008)
Issue (Month): 532 (October)
Pages: 1640-1669

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:118:y:2008:i:532:p:1640-1669

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References

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  1. Qi Chen & Wei Jiang, 2006. "Analysts' Weighting of Private and Public Information," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(1), pages 319-355.
  2. Peter Thompson & Steven Klepper, 2005. "Spinoff Entry in High-tech Industries: Motives and Consequences," Working Papers 0503, Florida International University, Department of Economics.
  3. Burdett, Kenneth & Coles, Melvyn G, 1999. "Long-Term Partnership Formation: Marriage and Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F307-34, June.
  4. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  5. Anderson, Lisa R & Holt, Charles A, 1997. "Information Cascades in the Laboratory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 847-62, December.
  6. Xinhua Gu & Padma Rao Sahib, 2002. ""Living in sin" and marriage: A matching model," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 261-282.
  7. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  8. Busenitz, Lowell W. & Barney, Jay B., 1997. "Differences between entrepreneurs and managers in large organizations: Biases and heuristics in strategic decision-making," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 9-30, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Guven, Cahit & Senik, Claudia & Stichnoth, Holger, 2010. "You can't be happier than your wife: happiness gaps and divorce," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-007, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00555427 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Jing Chen, 2009. "Selection and Serial Entrepreneurs," Working Papers 0913, Florida International University, Department of Economics.
  4. Peter Thompson & Jing Chen, 2011. "Disagreements, employee spinoffs and the choice of technology," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(3), pages 455-474, July.
  5. Peter Thompson & Steven Klepper, 2009. "Disagreements and Intra-Industry Spinoffs," Working Papers 0907, Florida International University, Department of Economics.

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