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How does the marriage market clear? An empirical framework

  • Aloysius Siow

The paper surveys the Choo and Siow (2006) marriage matching model and its extensions. CS derives a behavioural marriage-matching function. The collective model of intra-household allocations can be integrated into this framework. Spousal labour supplies respond to changing marriage marke t conditions. Marriage market tightness, the ratio of unmarried type "i" men to unmarried type "j" women is a sufficient statistic for marriage market conditions for those types of individuals. The hypothesis that spousal labour supplies vary to equilibrate the marriage market has overidentifying restrictions. The framework extends to a dynamic marriage-matching environment. Empirically, this paper shows how the famine caused by the great leap forward in Sichuan affected the marital behaviour of famine-born cohorts. Marriage market tightness is shown to be a useful statistic for summarizing marriage market conditions in the United States. Marriage market conditions in the contemporary United States primarily affect spousal labour force participation rather than hours of work.

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Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 41 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1121-1155

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:41:y:2008:i:4:p:1121-1155
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