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Will you marry me?: A perspective on the gender gap

  • Elul, Ronel
  • Silva-Reus, Jose
  • Volij, Oscar

This paper develops a general equilibrium model of the gender wage gap. The difference in earnings is a consequence of a demographic regularity --- that men tend to marry younger women --- which limits women's labor mobility. However, couples are always free not to marry, and do so only if it is in each's self-interest. In our model, marriage is beneficial because the joint consumption is a household public good. The intrafamily allocation of resources is determined via noncooperative bargaining; this leads to interesting interactions between the game played by husband and wife on the one hand, and the competitive environment in which they are immersed on the other. One example of this is the gender gap.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 49 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 549-572

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:49:y:2002:i:4:p:549-572
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  1. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1995. "The Gender Gap, Fertility and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  14. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Stark, Oded, 1987. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Bulletins 7515, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  15. Echevarria, Cristina & Merlo, Antonio, 1999. "Gender Differences in Education in a Dynamic Household Bargaining Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(2), pages 265-86, May.
  16. Gunderson, Morley, 1989. "Male-Female Wage Differentials and Policy Responses," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 46-72, March.
  17. Aloysius Siow, 1996. "Differential Fecundity, Markets and Gender Roles," Working Papers siow-96-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  18. Patrick Francois, 1996. "A Theory of Gender Discrimination Based on the Household," Working Papers 929, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  19. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "A model of employment outcomes illustrating the effect of the structure of information on the level and distribution of income," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 10(3-4), pages 231-236.
  20. Mincer, Jacob, 1978. "Family Migration Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 749-73, October.
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