Desperate Housewives? Communication Difficulties and the Dynamics of Marital (Un)Happiness

30 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2008

See all articles by Peter Thompson

Peter Thompson

Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business

Date Written: 0000

Abstract

The quality of a marriage depends on the proximity of a collective action to a unknown target. Individuals receive private signals about the target, and can communicate them only imperfectly to their spouses. Because of imperfect communication, spouses may hold different beliefs about the optimal action. If a couple's beliefs diverge too widely, one or both of them may prefer to dissolve the marriage. The article explores how poor communication contributes to marital unhappiness, as well as its implications for the dynamics of divorce risk, the welfare properties of divorce decisions and the role of counselling.

Suggested Citation

Thompson, Peter, Desperate Housewives? Communication Difficulties and the Dynamics of Marital (Un)Happiness (0000). Economic Journal, Vol. 118, Issue 532, pp. 1640-1669, October 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1270305 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2008.02184.x

Peter Thompson (Contact Author)

Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business ( email )

800 West Peachtree St., NW
Atlanta, GA 30308-1149
United States

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