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Beauty vs. earnings: Gender differences in earnings and priorities over spousal characteristics in a matching model

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  • Bjerk, David

Abstract

I develop a model of marriage matching where males and females care about two distinct characteristics of their spouse--beauty and earnings. Each individual's beauty is exogenous, but earnings depend on human capital investments made by each individual prior to entering the marriage market. I show that even if males and females constitute ex ante identical populations, with identical underlying preferences and equal access to human capital investment and labor market opportunities, there can still exist an equilibrium where, on average, one gender invests more in human capital than the other, and moreover, members of one gender are more likely to prioritize beauty over earnings in a spouse, while members of the other gender are more likely to prioritize a potential spouse's earnings over beauty.

Suggested Citation

  • Bjerk, David, 2009. "Beauty vs. earnings: Gender differences in earnings and priorities over spousal characteristics in a matching model," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 248-259, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:69:y:2009:i:3:p:248-259
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mario Vozar, 2010. "The Effect of Time in a Multi-Dimensional Marriage Market Model," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp417, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    2. Fabio Mariani, 2012. "The economic value of virtue," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 323-356, December.
    3. You, Jing & Yi, Xuejie & Chen, Meng, 2016. "Love, Life, and “Leftover Ladies” in Urban China," MPRA Paper 70494, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Tie-Ying Liu & Hsu-Ling Chang & Chi-Wei Su, 2017. "Why do People Get Married? An Inframarginal Perspective," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 1281-1295, February.

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