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Happily ever after? Intrahousehold bargaining and the distribution of utility within marriage

Author

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  • Dirk Bethmann

    (Department of Economics, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

  • Robert Rudolf

    () (Division of International Studies, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

Abstract

Using a rich longitudinal data set of married couples from the Korean Labor and Income Panel Study (KLIPS), this article seeks to uncover the relationship between intrahousehold bargaining and the distribution of experienced utility within marriage. Providing an empirical test of the cooperative bargaining model, we confirm both substantial gains from marriage and the importance of the exogenous threat point in the distribution of happiness within the household. In particular, we find that the higher a partner¡¯s relative predicted earnings outside of marriage, the higher her/ his relative gains from marriage. In addition, this study reveals an asymmetry between women and men in older couples: men on average are endowed with a lower threat point utility, yet secure higher returns from marriage. This is likely to be due to social norms and prescribed gender roles which are more prevalent within the older generation.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Bethmann & Robert Rudolf, 2015. "Happily ever after? Intrahousehold bargaining and the distribution of utility within marriage," Discussion Paper Series 1503, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
  • Handle: RePEc:iek:wpaper:1503
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    File URL: http://econ.korea.ac.kr/~ri/WorkingPapers/w1503.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Grossbard, Shoshana, 2016. "Marriage and Marriage Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 10312, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intrahousehold bargaining; Marriage; Happiness; Gender asymmetry; Generation effect;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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