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Gender differences and the timing of first marriages

  • Javier Diaz-Jimenez
  • Eugenio P. Giolito

    ()

In this article we provide a simple model of the marriage market where singles search for spouses. In our model economy men and women live for many years and they differ in their survival probabilities, in their fecundity, and in their earnings. We show that modelling the marriage decision in a very simple model economy is sufficient to account for much of the observed marriage behavior in the United States in the year 2000. We conclude that gender differences in fecundity are all important in accounting for marriage behavior, and that differences in earnings matter little. We also conclude that, even though they are in short supply, the market power of fecund women is not enough for them to demand compensation in all cases. And that studying the marriage decision without modelling explicitly the roles played by age and by fecundity, as has been typically done by the previous literature, makes little sense.

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we080804.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we080804
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  1. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Bagnoli, Mark, 1993. "Courtship as a Waiting Game," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 185-202, February.
  2. Eugenio Giolito, 2004. "A Search Model of Marriage with Differential Fecundity," Labor and Demography 0402007, EconWPA.
  3. Giolito Eugenio, 2010. "On Population Structure and Marriage Dynamics," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-54, November.
  4. Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Murat Iyigun & Yoram Weiss, 2006. "Investment in Schooling and the Marriage Market," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_034, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  5. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L & Katz, Michael L, 1996. "An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 277-317, May.
  6. Aloysius Siow & Xiaodong Zhu, 2002. "Differential Fecundity and Gender-Biased Parental Investments in Health," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 999-1024, October.
  7. Aloysius Siow, 1996. "Differential Fecundity, Markets and Gender Roles," Working Papers siow-96-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  8. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & and John Knowles, 1999. "More on marriage, fertility, and the distribution of income," Working Paper 9904, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  9. Shannon N. Seitz, 2002. "Accounting for Racial Differences in Marriage and Employment," Working Papers 1009, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  10. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2002. "Why Do Women Wait? Matching, Wage Inequality, and the Incentives for Fertility Delay," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 815-855, October.
  11. S. Rao Aiyagari & Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2000. "On the State of the Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 213-244, April.
  12. Coles, Melvyn & Francesconi, Marco, 2007. "On the Emergence of Toyboys: Equilibrium Matching with Ageing and Uncertain Careers," IZA Discussion Papers 2612, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Gillian Hamilton & Aloysius Siow, 2007. "Class, Gender and Marriage," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(4), pages 549-575, October.
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