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Until Death Do Us Part? The economics of short-term marriage contracts

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  • Stefania Marcassa

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

  • Grégory Ponthière

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

Abstract

"Until death do us part". Common wisdom considers that marriages will last forever, as the default length of a marriage is the total remaining lifespan of the spouses. This paper aims at questioning the prevailing marriage contracts, by exploring the conditions under which short-term contracts would be more desirable. Using a two-period collective household model, we show that, under a large interval of values for household production technology parameters and individual preference parameters, short-term marriage contracts, if available, would dominate long-term contracts. Moreover, the recent equalization of bargaining power within the household is shown to make short-term contracts even more desirable than in the past.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00564900.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00564900

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Related research

Keywords: marriage contracts ; collective household model ; length of marriage ; household production technology;

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