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A Human Capital-Based Theory of Post Marital Residence Rules

Author

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  • Matthew J. Baker

    () (United States Naval Academy)

  • Joyce P. Jacobsen

    () (Economics Department, Wesleyan University)

Abstract

In pre-modern societies the residence of a newly-wedded couple is often decided by custom. We formulate a theory of optimal post-marital residence rules based on contracting problems created by the nature of pre-marriage human capital investments. We argue that a fixed post-marital residence rule may mitigate a hold-up problem by specifying marriage terms and limiting possibilities for renegotiation; the trade-off is that the rule may prohibit beneficial renegotiation of post-marital location. A point of interest of our approach is that the magnitude and direction of transfers accompanying marriage are endogenous. We apply our theoretical results to understanding cross-cultural post-marital residence patters. We find some predictive ability in variables related to outside options, control over the environment, and potential degree of social control.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew J. Baker & Joyce P. Jacobsen, 2005. "A Human Capital-Based Theory of Post Marital Residence Rules," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2005-006, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2005-006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Landmann, Andreas & Seitz, Helke & Steiner, Susan, 2017. "Patrilocal Residence and Female Labour Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 10890, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Katrine Løken & Kjell Lommerud & Shelly Lundberg, 2013. "Your Place or Mine? On the Residence Choice of Young Couples in Norway," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(1), pages 285-310, February.
    3. Andreas Landmann & Helke Seitz & Susan Steiner, 2017. "Patrilocal Residence and Female Labour Supply," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1705, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Matthew J. Baker, 2004. "Human Capital and Hold-ups in Indigenous Society: The Role of Customs and the Market," Departmental Working Papers 7, United States Naval Academy Department of Economics.
    5. Grogan, Louise, 2013. "Household formation rules, fertility and female labour supply: Evidence from post-communist countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 1167-1183.
    6. Louise Grogan, 2007. "Patrilocality and human capital accumulation," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 15, pages 685-705, October.
    7. Gregory K. Dow & Clyde G. Reed & Simon Woodcock, 2016. "The Economics Of Exogamous Marriage In Small-Scale Societies," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(4), pages 1805-1823, October.
    8. Conley, John P. & Neilson, William, 2009. "Endogenous games and equilibrium adoption of social norms and ethical constraints," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 761-774, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Marriage; Bargaining; Hold-up Problem; Dowry; Bride-Price;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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