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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. Ermisch, John & Francesconi, Marco, 2002. "Intergenerational social mobility and assortative mating in Britain," ISER Working Paper Series 2002-06, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  2. Ed Hopkins (University of Edinburgh) and V. Bhaskar (University College London), 2011. "Marriage as a Rat Race: Noisy Pre-Marital Investments with Assortative Matching," ESE Discussion Papers 210, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  3. 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.

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