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How does the marriage market clear? An empirical framework

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Abstract:

Abstract. 

The paper surveys the Choo and Siow (2006a; CS) marriage matching model and its extensions. CS derives a behavioural marriage-matching function. The collective model of intra-household allocations can be integrated into this framework. Spousal labour supplies respond to changing marriage market conditions. Marriage market tightness, the ratio of unmarried type i men to unmarried type j women is a sufficient statistic for marriage market conditions for those types of individuals. The hypothesis that spousal labour supplies vary to equilibrate the marriage market has overidentifying restrictions. The framework extends to a dynamic marriage-matching environment. Empirically, this paper shows how the famine caused by the great leap forward in Sichuan affected the marital behaviour of famine-born cohorts. Marriage market tightness is shown to be a useful statistic for summarizing marriage market conditions in the United States. Marriage market conditions in the contemporary United States primarily affect spousal labour force participation rather than hours of work.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5982.2008.00498.x

Affiliations: University of Toronto

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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