Please, Marry Me! An Experimental Study of Risking a Joint Venture
Empirical studies in family economics usually rely on questionnaires, statistical or panel data. Here we try to study experimentally some crucial aspects of engaging in a marriage. First the female partner can end the relationship or suggest one of the two forms of joint venture. Whereas a full engagement relied on more specialization, but makes her more exploitable by the male partner, a low engagement is less productive, but also fairer. More specifically, the random profit of a joint venture is allocated by ultimatum bargaining in case of full engagement. In case of low engagement demands are determined simultaneously. Our treatment variables are her and his ouside option value, representing gender-specific investments in human capital.
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