Economics of marriage and divorce
In order to understand these ideas, we have to develop a model of both marriage and divorce (or, in other words, a model that allows for changes over time in the utility from marriage). In this chapter, we will set the stage for this analysis by discussing trends in marriage and divorce in Section 1. The major changes in matrimonial patterns in North America and Europe that we will highlight serve as a backdrop for the analysis we will introduce in the rest of the chapter. Then, to keep things simple, we will discuss separately the gains from marriage versus living together (Section 2), the reasons why people marry (Section 3), the nature of decision-making within marriage (Section 4), and the nature of the decisions to marry and to divorce (Section 5).
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