Courtship as a Waiting Game
In most times and places, women on average marry men who are older than themselves. We propose a partial explanation for this difference and for why it is diminishing. In a society where the economic roles of males are more varied and specialized than the roles of females, it may be that the relative desirability of females as marriage partners becomes evident at an earlier age for females than it does for males. We study an equilibrium model in which the males who regard their prospects as unusually good choose to wait until their economic success is revealed before choosing a bride. In equilibrium, the most desirable young females choose successful older males. Young males who do not believe that time will not treat them kindly will offer to marry at a young age. Although they are aware that young males available for marriage are no bargain, the less desirable young females will be offered no better option than the lottery presented by marrying a young male. We show the existence of equilibrium for models of this type and explore the properties of equilibrium.
|Date of creation:|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (734) 764-2355
Fax: (734) 764-2769
Web page: http://www.econ.lsa.umich.edu/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Egbert Dierker, 1989. "Competition for Customers," Discussion Paper Serie A 244, University of Bonn, Germany.
- Becker, Gary S, 1974.
"A Theory of Marriage: Part II,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S11-S26, Part II, .
- Flinn, Christopher J & Heckman, James J, 1983.
"Are Unemployment and Out of the Labor Force Behaviorally Distinct Labor Force States?,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 28-42, January.
- Christopher J. Flinn & James J. Heckman, 1982. "Are Unemployment and Out of the Labor Force Behaviorally Distinct Labor Force States?," NBER Working Papers 0979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mark Bagnoli & Ted Bergstrom, 2005.
"Log-concave probability and its applications,"
Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 445-469, 08.
- Ted Bergstrom & Robert Schoeni, 1996.
"Income prospects and age-at-marriage,"
Journal of Population Economics,
Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 115-130, June.
- Roth, Alvin E. & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1992.
Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,
in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 485-541
- Keeley, Michael C, 1977. "The Economics of Family Formation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(2), pages 238-50, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:michec:_030. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.