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Education, Matching, and the Allocative Value of Romance

  • Alison Booth
  • Melvyn Coles

Societies are characterized by customs governing the allocation of non-market goods such as marital partnerships. We explore how such customs affect the educational investment decisions of young singles and the subsequent joint labor supply decisions of partnered couples. We consider two separate matching paradigms-one where partners marry for money and the other where partners marry for romantic reasons orthogonal to productivity or debt. Whereas marrying for money generates greater investment efficiency, romantic matching, by increasing the number of educated and talented women who participate in the labour market, increases aggregate productivity. (JEL: I21, J12, J16, J41) (c) 2010 by the European Economic Association.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 8 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (06)
Pages: 744-775

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:8:y:2010:i:4:p:744-775
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  1. Shimer, R. & Smith, L., 1997. "Assortative Matching and Search," Working papers 97-2b, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Cole, Harold L & Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Social Norms, Savings Behavior, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1092-1125, December.
  3. Alp Atakan, 2005. "Assortative Matching with Explicit Search Costs," 2005 Meeting Papers 218, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Fernandez, R. & Rogerson, R., 1999. "Sorting and Long-Run Inequality," Working Papers 99-22, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  5. George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, 2002. "Social Assets," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-025, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 04 Jun 2004.
    • George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, 2006. "Social Assets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1057-1091, November.
    • George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, 2002. "Social Assets," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-003, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 04 Jun 2004.
  6. Coen N. Teulings & Pieter A. Gautier, 2004. "The Right Man for the Job," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 553-580.
  7. James Albrecht & Susan Vroman, 2002. "A Matching Model with Endogenous Skill Requirements," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(1), pages 283-305, February.
  8. Fernández, Raquel & Guner, Nezih & Knowles, John, 2001. "Love and Money: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Household Sorting and Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 3040, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Florence Jaumotte, 2003. "Female Labour Force Participation: Past Trends and Main Determinants in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 376, OECD Publishing.
  10. Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn G, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-68, February.
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