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Courtship as a Waiting Game

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  • Bergstrom, Theodore C
  • Bagnoli, Mark

Abstract

In most times and places, women on average marry older men. The authors suggest a partial explanation. If the economi c roles of males are more specialized than those of females, the desirability of a female as a mate may become evident at an earlier age than is the case for males. Males with good prospects will wait unti l their economic success is revealed before choosing a bride. Those wi th poor prospects try to marry young. In equilibrium, the most desirabl e young females choose successful older males. The less desirable youn g females have no better option than to marry available young males. Copyright 1993 by University of Chicago Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 101 (1993)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 185-202

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:101:y:1993:i:1:p:185-202

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  1. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S11-S26, Part II, .
  2. Egbert Dierker, 1989. "Competition for Customers," Discussion Paper Serie A 244, University of Bonn, Germany.
  3. Bergstrom, Ted & Schoeni, Robert F, 1996. "Income Prospects and Age-at-Marriage," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 115-30, May.
  4. Mark Bagnoli & Ted Bergstrom, 2005. "Log-concave probability and its applications," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 445-469, 08.
  5. Christopher J. Flinn & James J. Heckman, 1982. "Are Unemployment and Out of the Labor Force Behaviorally Distinct Labor Force States?," NBER Working Papers 0979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Keeley, Michael C, 1977. "The Economics of Family Formation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(2), pages 238-50, April.
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