On the age at marriage: theory and evidence from Jews and Moslems in Israel
In this paper we extend the Becker-Keeley and Bergstrom-Bagnoli theories of the optimal age at marriage and derive systematic cross-cultural differences in the marriage pattern. We then examine the empirical relevance of the hypotheses for Jewish and Moslem population groups in Israel. The empirical analysis is more detailed than previous studies by, for example, splitting the sample according to the wife's labor market status. The evidence supports the Becker-Keeley prediction about the effects of the spouses' wage rates, the Bergstrom-Bagnoli prediction about the effect of the husband's wage rate in a traditional society, and the various hypotheses we propose. Dans ce papier, nous étendons les théories de Becker-Keeley et Bergstrom-Bagnoli sur l`âge optimal du mariage et dérivons des différences systématiques entre les cultures dans les patterns de mariages. Ensuite, nous examinons la relevance empririquedes hypothèses pour les groupes de population juives et musulmanes en Israel. L'analyse empirique est plus détaillée que dans des études précédantes, par exemple en séparant l'échantillon selon le status de l'épouse sur le marché du travail. Les résultats corroborent les prédictions de Becker-Keeley sur l'effet du salaire de l'époux ou de l'épouse, la prédiction de Bergstrom-Bagnoli sur l'effet du salaire de l'époux dans une économie traditionnelle, ainsi que les différentes hypothèses que nous suggérons.
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