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Building the Family Nest: A Collective Household Model with Competing Pre-Marital Investments and Spousal Matching


  • Randall P. Walsh
  • Murat F. Iyigun


We develop a model of the household in which spousal incomes are determined by pre-marital investments, the marriage market is charaterized by assortative matching, and endogenously-determined sharing rules form the basis of intra-household allocations. By incorporating pre-marital investments and spousal matching into the collective household model, we are able to (a) establish the welfare implications of the collective model for pre-marital choices and spousal matching and (b) identify the fundamental determinants of endogenously-determined and maritally sustainable intra-marital sharing rules. In particular, we find that all sharing rules along the assortative order support unconditionally efficient outcomes where both pre-marital investments and intra-household allocations are efficient. We also show that, for each couple, the marriage market generates a unique and maritally sustainable sharing rule that is a function of the distribution of pre-marital endowments and the sex ratios in the market.

Suggested Citation

  • Randall P. Walsh & Murat F. Iyigun, 2004. "Building the Family Nest: A Collective Household Model with Competing Pre-Marital Investments and Spousal Matching," 2004 Meeting Papers 168, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed004:168

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bernardino Adão & Isabel Correia & Pedro Teles, 2003. "Gaps and Triangles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 699-713.
    2. Bernardino Adão & Isabel Horta Correia & Pedro Teles, 2004. "Instruments of Monetary Policy," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    3. Roger E. A. Farmer, 1999. "Macroeconomics of Self-fulfilling Prophecies, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262062038, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthew J. Baker & Joyce P. Jacobsen, 2007. "Marriage, Specialization, and the Gender Division of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 763-793.
    2. Daniela Del Boca & Christopher J. Flinn, 2005. "Household Time Allocation and Modes of Behavior: A Theory of Sorts," CHILD Working Papers wp15_05, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
    3. Iyigun, Murat, 2005. "Bargaining and Specialization in Marriage," IZA Discussion Papers 1744, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Iyigun, Murat & Walsh, Randall P., 2007. "Endogenous gender power, household labor supply and the demographic transition," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 138-155, January.
    5. Del Boca, Daniela & Flinn, Christopher J., 2014. "Household behavior and the marriage market," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 515-550.

    More about this item


    The Collective Model; Marriage; Bargaining; Household Labor Supply;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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