Social norms, cognitive dissonance and the timing of marriage
We present a model of courtship in which the timing of marriage is affected by the cognitive dissonance between perceived norms and personal aims. We argue that as long as the family has been the main provider of social protection, marriage has been favoured by strongly felt social norms, and thus people accepted less-than-ideal partners early on in their search in order to minimise the dissonance caused by the non-adherence to the custom. Once the Welfare state has replaced the family, these norms have lost their strength, so that agents can afford the luxury of searching their preferred partners at length without feeling at odds with their social duties. The model yields predictions in line with relevant stylised facts: the raising age of marriage, the prevalence of assortative mating and the common occurrence of divorce in the early years of marriage. We finally discuss the impact of late marriages on fertility, and argue that there need not be negative consequences if the declining role of the family becomes socially accepted, and alternative arrangements are made possible and indeed encouraged by means of an appropriate family policy.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gilad, Benjamin & Kaish, Stanley & Loeb, Peter D., 1987. "Cognitive dissonance and utility maximization : A general framework," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 61-73, March.
- John Ermisch & Marco Francesconi & Thomas Siedler, 2006. "Intergenerational Mobility and Marital Sorting," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(513), pages 659-679, 07.
- Anderberg, Dan & Balestrino, Alessandro, 2001.
"Self-Enforcing Intergenerational Transfers and the Provision of Education,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3107, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Dan Anderberg & Alessandro Balestrino, 2003. "Self--enforcing Intergenerational Transfers and the Provision of Education," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(277), pages 55-71, February.
- Bergstrom, T. & Bagnoli, M., 1991.
"Courtship as a waiting game,"
The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS)
386, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Bergstrom, T. & Bagnoli, M., 1990. "Courtship as a Waiting Game," Papers 90-12, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
- Bergstrom, T. & Bagnali, M., 1991. "Courtship as a Waiting Game," Papers 91-3, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
- Mark Bagnoli & Ted Bergstrom, . "Courtship as a Waiting Game," Papers _030, University of Michigan, Department of Economics.
- Cigno, Alessandro, 1993. "Intergenerational transfers without altruism : Family, market and state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 505-518, November.
- Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Studying Optimal Paternalism, Illustrated by a Model of Sin Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 186-191, May.
- Akerlof, George A & Dickens, William T, 1982. "The Economic Consequences of Cognitive Dissonance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 307-19, June.
- Josef Falkinger, 2004. "Noncooperative Support of Public Norm Enforcement in Large Societies," CESifo Working Paper Series 1368, CESifo Group Munich.
- John Ermisch & Marco Francesconi, 2000. "Cohabitation in Great Britain: not for long, but here to stay," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 163(2), pages 153-171.
- Matthew Rabin, 1998.
"Psychology and Economics,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 11-46, March.
- Matthew Rabin., 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Economics Working Papers 97-251, University of California at Berkeley.
- Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8jd5z5j2, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Robert J. Oxoby, 2004. "Cognitive dissonance, status and growth of the underclass," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(498), pages 727-749, October.
- Konrad, Kai A & Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 1995. " Family Policy with Non-cooperative Families," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 581-601, December.
- Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten & Weibull, Jörgen W., 1997.
"Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State,"
Working Paper Series
476, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35.
- George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-775.
- Marco Manacorda & Enrico Moretti, 2006. "Why do Most Italian Youths Live with Their Parents? Intergenerational Transfers and Household Structure," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(4), pages 800-829, 06.
- Rabin, Mathew, 1991.
"Cognitive Dissonance and Social Change,"
Department of Economics, Working Paper Series
qt37b169jt, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Burdett, Kenneth & Coles, Melvyn G, 1999. "Long-Term Partnership Formation: Marriage and Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F307-34, June.
- Dufwenberg, Martin & Lundholm, Michael, 1997.
"Social Norms and Moral Hazard,"
Working Paper Series
1997:28, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
- Leif Danziger & Shoshanna Neuman, 1998.
"On the Age at Marriage: Theory and Evidence from Jews and Moslems in Israel,"
Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers
82, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
- Danziger, Leif & Neuman, Shoshana, 1999. "On the age at marriage: theory and evidence from Jews and Moslems in Israel," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 179-193, October.
- Danziger, Leif & Neuman, Shoshana, 1999. "On the Age at Marriage: Theory and Evidence from Jews and Moslems in Israel," CEPR Discussion Papers 2209, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Dickens, William T., 1986. "Crime and punishment again: The economic approach with a psychological twist," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 97-107, June.
- Keeley, Michael C, 1977. "The Economics of Family Formation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(2), pages 238-50, April.
- Cameron, Samuel, 2003. "The economic model of divorce: the neglected role of search and specific capital formation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 303-316, July.
- Goldsmith, Arthur H. & Sedo, Stanley & Darity, William Jr. & Hamilton, Darrick, 2004. "The labor supply consequences of perceptions of employer discrimination during search and on-the-job: Integrating neoclassical theory and cognitive dissonance," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 15-39, February.
- Smith, Ian, 1997. "Explaining the Growth of Divorce in Great Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 44(5), pages 519-44, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:37:y:2008:i:6:p:2399-2410. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.