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Time Consistent Matrimony with Endogenous Trust

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  • Dufwenberg, Martin

    ()
    (Stockholm University)

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    Abstract

    A simple model of marriage and divorce predicts that no marriages occur. Yet, in real life, people marry all the time in seemingly similar situations. This discordance is explained using psychological game theory. An emotional guilt effect is explicitly modeled and multiple belief-dependent equilibria become possible: some marriages don’t happen, some are formed but end in divorce, some last a lifetime. For certain parameterizations a lifelong efficient marriage is guaranteed; one spouse’s approval to marry signals a trust so strong as to force the other spouse to hold beliefs which make divorce exceedingly emotionally unattractive. These results may have some bearing also on other partnerships than marriage.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 1997:1.

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    Length: 19 pages
    Date of creation: 30 Dec 1996
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:1997_001

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    Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
    Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
    Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
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    Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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    Keywords: Marriage; time consistency; emotions; guilt; psychological game theory;

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    References

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    1. Stark,Oded, 1999. "Altruism and Beyond," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521663731.
    2. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1993. "Transfers among Divorced Couples: Evidence and Interpretation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(4), pages 629-79, October.
    3. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
    4. Ruffle, Bradley J., 1999. "Gift giving with emotions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 399-420, July.
    5. Steven Tadelis & Oliver E.Williamson, 2012. "Transaction Cost Economics
      [The Handbook of Organizational Economics]
      ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
    6. Dufwenberg, M. & Gneezy, U., 1996. "Efficiency, Reciprocity and Expectations in an Experimental Game," Discussion Paper 1996-79, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    7. Geanakoplos, John & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1989. "Psychological games and sequential rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 60-79, March.
    8. Polsby, Daniel D & Zelder, Martin, 1994. "Risk-Adjusted Valuation of Professional Degrees in Divorce," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 273-85, January.
    9. Borenstein, Severin & Cournat, Paul N, 1989. "How to Carve a Medical Degree: Human Capital Assets in Divorce Settlements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 992-1009, December.
    10. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
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