Marriage as a rat race: Noisy premarital investments with assortative matching

V. Bhaskar, Ed Hopkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We study the efficiency of premarital investments when parents care about their child’s marriage prospects, in a large frictionless marriage market with nontransferable utility. Stochastic returns to investment ensure that equilibrium is unique. We find that, generically, investments exceed the Pareto-efficient level, unless the sexes are symmetric in all respects. Girls will invest more than boys if their quality shocks are less variable than shocks for boys or if they are the abundant sex. The unique equilibrium in our continuum agent model is the limit of the equilibria of finite models, as the number of agents tends to infinity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)992-1045
JournalJournal of Political Economy
Issue number4
Early online date29 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • assortative matching tournament
  • ex ante investments
  • gender differences
  • marriage and sex ratio


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