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The economic value of virtue

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  • Fabio MARIANI

    () (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), Paris School of Economics and IZA, Bonn)

Abstract

Virtue is modelled as an asset that women can use in the marriage market: since men value virginity in prospective mates, preserving her virtue increases a woman’s chances of marrying a high-status husband, and therefore allows for upward social mobility. Consistent with some historical and anthropological evidence, we find that the prevalence (and the value) of virginity, across societies and overtime, can be influenced by socio-economic factors such as male income inequality, gender differences, social status and stratification, and overall economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabio MARIANI, 2010. "The economic value of virtue," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2010012, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2010012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pensieroso, Luca & Sommacal, Alessandro, 2014. "Economic development and family structure: From pater familias to the nuclear family," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 80-100.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mating; Marriage; Culturalvalues; Socialclasses; Gender;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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