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Differential Fecundity, Markets, and Gender Roles

  • Aloysius Siow

Women are fecund for a shorter period of their lives than men. This paper investigates how differential fecundity interacts with marriage, labor and financial markets to affect gender roles. The main findings of the paper are: (i) Differential fecundity does not have any market invariant gender effect. (ii) Gender roles depend on competition for mates in the marriage market and the way in which ex-post differences in earnings affect that competition. (iii) Gender differences in the labor market can occur without corresponding differences in labor market opportunities, productivities in child rearing, or social norms. (iv) With uncertainty in human capital accumulation and no insurance against this uncertainty, the model generates behavior which is consistent with observed gender roles.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 106 (1998)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 334-354

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:106:y:1998:i:2:p:334-354
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