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A Human Capital-Based Theory of Post Marital Residence Rules

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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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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    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. Maria Brandén & Karen Haandrikman, 2019. "Who Moves to Whom? Gender Differences in the Distance Moved to a Shared Residence," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 35(3), pages 435-458, July.
    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. Andreas Landmann & Helke Seitz & Susan Steiner, 2018. "Patrilocal Residence and Female Labor Supply: Evidence From Kyrgyzstan," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 55(6), pages 2181-2203, December.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.

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    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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