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Gender differences and the timing of first marriages

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  • Javier Diaz-Jimenez
  • Eugenio P. Giolito

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Abstract

In this article we provide a simple model of the marriage market where singles search for spouses. In our model economy men and women live for many years and they differ in their survival probabilities, in their fecundity, and in their earnings. We show that modelling the marriage decision in a very simple model economy is sufficient to account for much of the observed marriage behavior in the United States in the year 2000. We conclude that gender differences in fecundity are all important in accounting for marriage behavior, and that differences in earnings matter little. We also conclude that, even though they are in short supply, the market power of fecund women is not enough for them to demand compensation in all cases. And that studying the marriage decision without modelling explicitly the roles played by age and by fecundity, as has been typically done by the previous literature, makes little sense.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we080804.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we080804

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Keywords: Marriage; Search; Sex ratio;

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References

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  1. Bergstrom, T. & Bagnali, M., 1991. "Courtship as a Waiting Game," Papers 91-3, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  2. Aloysius Siow, 1996. "Differential Fecundity, Markets and Gender Roles," Working Papers siow-96-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  3. Chiappori, Pierre-André & Iyigun, Murat & Weiss, Yoram, 2006. "Investment in Schooling and the Marriage Market," IZA Discussion Papers 2454, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & John A. Knowles, 2003. "More on Marriage, Fertility, and the Distribution of Income," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(3), pages 827-862, 08.
  5. Eugenio Giolito, 2004. "A Search Model of Marriage with Differential Fecundity," Labor and Demography 0402007, EconWPA.
  6. Gillian Hamilton & Aloysius Siow, 2007. "Class, Gender and Marriage," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(4), pages 549-575, October.
  7. Giolito, Eugenio P., 2010. "On Population Structure and Marriage Dynamics," IZA Discussion Papers 5224, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. S. Rao Aiyagari & Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2000. "On the State of the Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 213-244, April.
  9. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L & Katz, Michael L, 1996. "An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 277-317, May.
  10. Shannon Seitz, 2009. "Accounting for Racial Differences in Marriage and Employment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 385-437, 07.
  11. Aloysius Siow & Xiaodong Zhu, 2002. "Differential Fecundity and Gender-Biased Parental Investments in Health," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 999-1024, October.
  12. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2002. "Why Do Women Wait? Matching, Wage Inequality, and the Incentives for Fertility Delay," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 815-855, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Giolito, Eugenio P., 2010. "On Population Structure and Marriage Dynamics," IZA Discussion Papers 5224, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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