Paternal Uncertainty and the Economics of Mating, Marriage, and Parental Investment in Children
We develop a theoretical model of mating behavior and parental investment in children under asymmetry in kin recognition between men and women that provides a microfoundation for the institution of marriage. In the model, men and women derive utility from consumption and reproductive success, which is a function of the number and quality of own offspring. Because of paternal uncertainty, men unlike women may err in investing resources in offspring that is not biologically theirs. As a socially sanctioned commitment device among partners, the institution of marriage reduces this risk by restraining promiscuity in society. Both women and men are shown to benefit from lower levels of paternal uncertainty, as does average child quality because of increased parental investments. As an analytical framework, the model is suitable to study a number of societal, economic, and technological changes in their effects on marriage patterns. A combination of factors is argued to underlie the demise of marriage.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2005|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Spandauer Str. 1,10178 Berlin|
Web page: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robert J. Willis, 1999. "A Theory of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 33-64, December.
- Leora Friedberg, 1998. "Did Unilateral Divorce Raise Divorce Rates? Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 6398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"A Theory of Marriage: Part II,"
in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 11-26
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mark R. Rosenzweig, 1999. "Welfare, Marital Prospects, and Nonmarital Childbearing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 3-32, December.
- Ted Bergstrom, 1995.
"A Survey of Theories of the Family,"
_027, University of Michigan, Department of Economics.
- I-Fen Lin & Anne Case & Sara McLanahan, 1999. "Household Resource Allocation in Stepfamilies: Darwin Reflects on the Plight of Cinderella," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 234-238, May.
- Jonathan Gruber, 2004. "Is Making Divorce Easier Bad for Children? The Long-Run Implications of Unilateral Divorce," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 799-834, October.
- Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Is Making Divorce Easier Bad for Children? The Long Run Implications of Unilateral Divorce," NBER Working Papers 7968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-846, July-Aug..
- Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Jane Waldfogel, 2000.
"Understanding Young Women's Marriage Decisions: The Role of Labor and Marriage Market Conditions,"
NBER Working Papers
7510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Jane Waldfogel, 2000. "Understanding Young Women's Marriage Decisions: The Role of Labor and Marriage Market Conditions," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(4), pages 624-647, July.
- Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 1998. "The Impact of Welfare Benefits on the Conjugal Status of Single Mothers in Canada: Estimates from a Hazard Model," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(3), pages 742-757.
- Michael J. Brien, 1997. "Racial Differences in Marriage and the Role of Marriage Markets," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 741-778.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2005-046. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (RDC-Team)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.