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Transplants and Implants: The Economics of Self-Improvement

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  • Burdett, Ken
  • Coles, Melvyn G

Abstract

This article examines equilibrium self-improvement and marriage proposal strategies in a two-sided search model with nontransferable utility. Singles are vertically differentiated--some make better marriage partners than others. A complete characterization of equilibrium is provided. It is shown there are two externalities to self-improvement decisions. Further, these externalities may support multiple Pareto rankable equilibria. By encouraging everybody to self-improve, society can create a situation where everybody is forced to improve to remain "acceptable." But a preferred equilibrium may exist where there is less (costly) self-improvement.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 42 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 597-616

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:42:y:2001:i:3:p:597-616

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Cited by:
  1. Bhaskar, V. & Hopkins, Ed, 2011. "Marriage as a Rat Race: Noisy Pre-Marital Investments with Assortative Matching," SIRE Discussion Papers 2011-65, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  2. Conley, John P. & Neilson, William, 2009. "Endogenous games and equilibrium adoption of social norms and ethical constraints," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 761-774, July.
  3. repec:ese:iserwp:2002-06 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Richard Rogerson & Robert Shimer & Randall Wright, 2004. "Search-Theoretic Models of the Labor Market-A Survey," NBER Working Papers 10655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bidner, Chris, 2010. "Pre-match investment with frictions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 23-34, January.
  6. Ermisch, John & Francesconi, Marco, 2002. "Intergenerational Social Mobility and Assortative Mating in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 465, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Gautier, Pieter A. & Svarer, Michael & Teulings, Coen N., 2010. "Marriage and the city: Search frictions and sorting of singles," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 206-218, March.

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