Until Death Do Us Part? The economics of short-term marriage contracts
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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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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marriage contracts ; collective household model ; length of marriage ; household production technology;
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