Marriage as a Rat Race: Noisy Pre-Marital Investments with Assortative Matching

V. Bhaskar, Ed Hopkins

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper

Abstract

We study the incentive to invest to improve marriage prospects, in a frictionless
marriage market with non-transferable utility. Stochastic returns to investment
eliminate the multiplicity of equilibria in models with deterministic returns,
and a unique equilibrium exists under reasonable conditions. Equilibrium investment
is efficient when the sexes are symmetric. However, when there is any asymmetry,
including an unbalanced sex ratio, investments are generically excessive.
For example, if there is an excess of boys, then there is parental over-investment
in boys and under-investment in girls, and total investment will be excessive.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherEdinburgh School of Economics Discussion Paper Series
Number of pages35
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2011

Publication series

NameESE Discussion Papers
No.210

Keywords

  • marriage
  • ex ante investments
  • gender differences
  • assortative matching tournament
  • sex ratio
  • C72
  • C78
  • D62
  • H31
  • J12

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