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Accounting for age in marital search decisions

  • Serife Nuray Akin

    (Department of Economics, University of Miami)

  • Matthew Butler

    (Department of Economics, Brigham Young University)

  • Brennan C. Platt

    (Department of Economics, Brigham Young University)

The average quality of spouse an individual marries varies significantly with age at marriage, peaking in the mid-twenties, then declining through the mid-forties, as does the hazard rate of marriage. Using a non-stationary sequential search model, we identify the search frictions that generate these age-dependent marriage outcomes. We find that the arrival rate of suitors is the dominant friction, responsible for 80% of hazard rate variation and 49% of spouse quality variation. Surprisingly, the distribution of suitor quality is a lower-order concern. Also, individual choice, rather than worsening frictions, is responsible for most of the decline in spouse quality.

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File URL: http://bus.miami.edu/_assets/files/repec/WP2013-01.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Miami, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2013-01.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 11 Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mia:wpaper:2013-01
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  1. Krusell, Per & Mukoyama, Toshihiko & Rogerson, Richard & Sahin, Aysegul, 2009. "Aggregate Labor Market Outcomes: The Role of Choice and Chance," CEPR Discussion Papers 7435, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Chade, Hector, 2001. "Two-sided search and perfect segregation with fixed search costs," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 31-51, July.
  3. Melvyn G. Coles & Marco Francesconi, 2011. "On The Emergence Of Toyboys: The Timing Of Marriage With Aging And Uncertain Careers," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(3), pages 825-853, 08.
  4. Boulier, Bryan L & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1984. "Schooling, Search, and Spouse Selection: Testing Economic Theories of Marriage and Household Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(4), pages 712-32, August.
  5. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Avia Spivak, 1979. "The Family as an Incomplete Annuities Market," UCLA Economics Working Papers 151, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Lones Smith, 2006. "The Marriage Model with Search Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(6), pages 1124-1146, December.
  7. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  8. Javier Díaz‐Giménez & Eugenio Giolito, 2013. "Accounting For The Timing Of First Marriage," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54(1), pages 135-158, 02.
  9. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 11-26 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2002. "Why Do Women Wait? Matching, Wage Inequality, and the Incentives for Fertility Delay," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 815-855, October.
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