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Education, Matching and the Allocative Value of Romance

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  • Booth, Alison L
  • Coles, Melvyn G

Abstract

Societies are characterized by customs governing the allocation of non-market goods such as marital partnerships. We explore how such customs affect the educational investment decisions of young singles and the subsequent joint labour supply decisions of partnered couples. We consider two separate matching paradigms for agents with heterogeneous abilities - one where partners marry for money and the other where partners marry for romantic reasons orthogonal to productivity or debt. These generate different investment incentives and therefore have a real impact on the market economy. While marrying for money generates greater investment efficiency, romantic matching generates greater allocative efficiency, since more high ability individuals participate in the labour market. The analysis offers the possibility of explaining cross-country differences in educational investments and labour force participation based on matching regimes.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5099.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5099

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Keywords: cohabitation; education; marriage; matching; participation;

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  1. George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, 2002. "Social Assets," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-003, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 04 Jun 2004.
    • George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, 2006. "Social Assets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1057-1091, November.
    • George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, 2002. "Social Assets," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-025, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 04 Jun 2004.
  2. Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 2000. "Sorting and Long-Run Inequality," NBER Working Papers 7508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Fernández, Raquel & Guner, Nezih & Knowles, John, 2001. "Love and Money: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Household Sorting and Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 3040, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Robert Shimer & Lones Smith, 2000. "Assortative Matching and Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 343-370, March.
  5. Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn G, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-68, February.
  6. Alp Atakan, 2005. "Assortative Matching with Explicit Search Costs," 2005 Meeting Papers 218, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Coen N. Teulings & Pieter A. Gautier, 2004. "The Right Man for the Job," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 553-580.
  8. James Albrecht & Susan Vroman, 2000. "A Matching Model with Endogenous Skill Requirements," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0774, Econometric Society.
  9. Cole, Harold L & Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Social Norms, Savings Behavior, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1092-1125, December.
  10. Florence Jaumotte, 2003. "Female Labour Force Participation: Past Trends and Main Determinants in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 376, OECD Publishing.
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Cited by:
  1. Alison L. Booth & Melvyn Coles, 2006. "A Microfoundation for Increasing Returns in Human Capital Accumulation and the Under-Participation Trap," CEPR Discussion Papers 543, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  2. Bilancini, Ennio & Boncinelli, Leonardo, 2013. "Disclosure of information in matching markets with non-transferable utility," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 143-156.
  3. Coles, Melvyn & Francesconi, Marco, 2007. "On the Emergence of Toyboys: Equilibrium Matching with Ageing and Uncertain Careers," IZA Discussion Papers 2612, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Booth, A.L. & Coles, M.G., 2010. "Tax policy and returns to education," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 291-301, January.
  5. Booth, Alison L & Coles, Melvyn G & Gong, Xiaodong, 2007. "Increasing Returns to Education: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6266, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Konrad, Kai A., 2013. "Affection, speed dating and heart breaking," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2013-309, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

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