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The Importance of Gifts in Marriage

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  • Allen M. Parkman

Abstract

In this article, a new element is introduced into the household production function: gifts. Gifts occur when spouses use their time and/or incomes to produce commodities that usually only have value to their spouse, such as empathy and understanding. The difficulty of identifying a potential mate's capacity to produce gifts prior to marriage and of negotiating for them during marriage is argued as having contributed to the increase in the divorce rate. Evidence is provided that women are the spouses most likely to seek a divorce and part of their motivation is an inadequate receipt of gifts during marriage. (JEL J12) Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Allen M. Parkman, 2004. "The Importance of Gifts in Marriage," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(3), pages 483-495, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:42:y:2004:i:3:p:483-495
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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