Who Marries Whom and Why
This paper proposes and estimates a static transferable utility model of the marriage market. The model generates a nonparametric marriage matching function with spillover effects. It rationalizes the standard interpretation of marriage rate regressions and points out its limitations. The model was used to estimate U.S. marital behavior in 1971/72 and 1981/82. The marriage matching function estimates show that the gains to marriage for young adults fell substantially over the decade. Unlike contradictory marriage rate regression results, the marriage matching function estimates showed that the legalization of abortion had a significant quantitative impact on the fall in the gains to marriage for young men and women.
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