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The economic value of virtue

We model virtue as an asset on the marriage market : since men value virginity in prospective mates, preserving their virtue increases girls' chances of getting a "good" husband, and therefore allows for upward social mobility. Consistent with some historical and anthropological evidence, we find that the diffusion (and the social value) of virginity, across societies and over time, can be determined, among others, by income inequality, gender differences, social stratification and overall economic development. This is a further example of how cultural and moral values can be affected by economic factors.

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File URL: ftp://mse.univ-paris1.fr/pub/mse/CES2008/V08101.pdf
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Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number v08101.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:v08101
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