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A Search Model of Marriage with Differential Fecundity

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  • Giolito, Eugenio P.

    () (Universidad Alberto Hurtado)

Abstract

It is commonly observed that over time and across societies, women tend to marry older men. The traditional explanation for this phenomenon is that wages increase with age and hence older men are more attractive in the marriage market. This explanation, however, involves an implicit assumption about female specialization in home production - an assumption that does not completely hold, especially in modern times. This paper shows that a marriage market equilibrium where women marry earlier in life than men can be achieved without making any assumptions about the wage process or gender roles. The only driving force in this model is the asymmetry in fecundity horizons between men and women. When the model is calibrated with Census Data, the average age at first marriage and the pattern of the sex ratio of single men to single women over different age groups mimics the patterns observed in developed countries during the last decade (e.g. France, the U.S. and Sweden).

Suggested Citation

  • Giolito, Eugenio P., 2004. "A Search Model of Marriage with Differential Fecundity," IZA Discussion Papers 1082, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1082
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    Cited by:

    1. Díaz-Giménez, Javier & Giolito, Eugenio P., 2008. "Gender Differences and the Timing of First Marriages," IZA Discussion Papers 3539, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. 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.
    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. Polachek, Solomon & Zhang, Xu & Zhou, Xing, 2014. "A Biological Basis for the Gender Wage Gap: Fecundity and Age and Educational Hypogamy," IZA Discussion Papers 8570, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Sylvain Dessy & Habiba Djebbari, 2005. "Career Choice, Marriage-Timing, and the Attraction of Unequals," Cahiers de recherche 0507, CIRPEE.
    6. Aloysius Siow & Eugene Choo, 2007. "Lifecycle marriage matching: Theory and Evidence," 2007 Meeting Papers 550, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. 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).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    marriage markets; search; sex ratio;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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