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Education, Matching and the Allocative Value of Romance

  • Booth, Alison L.

    ()

    (Australian National University)

  • Coles, Melvyn

    ()

    (University of Essex)

Societies are characterized by customs governing the allocation of non-market goods such as marital partnerships. We explore how such customs affect the educational investment decisions of young singles and the subsequent joint labor supply decisions of partnered couples. We consider two separate matching paradigms for agents with heterogeneous abilities - one where partners marry for money and the other where partners marry for romantic reasons orthogonal to productivity or debt. These generate different investment incentives and therefore have a real impact on the market economy. While marrying for money generates greater investment efficiency, romantic matching generates greater allocative efficiency, since more high ability individuals participate in the labour market. The analysis offers the possibility of explaining cross-country differences in educational investments and labor force participation based on matching regimes.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1649.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of the European Economic Association, 2010, 8(4), 744-775
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1649
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  1. Shimer, R. & Smith, L., 1997. "Assortative Matching and Search," Working papers 97-2b, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Raquel Ferndez & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2001. "Love and Money: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Household Sorting and Inequality," Penn CARESS Working Papers d3d043317c8e26c4039c21aa0, Penn Economics Department.
  3. Coen N. Teulings & Pieter A. Gautier, 2004. "The Right Man for the Job," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 553-580, 04.
  4. George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, 2002. "Social Assets," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-003, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 04 Jun 2004.
    • George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, 2006. "Social Assets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1057-1091, November.
    • George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, 2002. "Social Assets," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-025, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 04 Jun 2004.
  5. Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn G, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-68, February.
  6. Alp E. Atakan, 2006. "Assortative Matching with Explicit Search Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(3), pages 667-680, 05.
  7. Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 2000. "Sorting and Long-Run Inequality," NBER Working Papers 7508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Cole, Harold L & Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Social Norms, Savings Behavior, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1092-1125, December.
  9. Florence Jaumotte, 2003. "Female Labour Force Participation: Past Trends and Main Determinants in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 376, OECD Publishing.
  10. James Albrecht & Susan Vroman, 2000. "A Matching Model with Endogenous Skill Requirements," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0774, Econometric Society.
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