Will You Marry Me? A Perspective on the Gender Gap
29 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 1999
Date Written: May 1998
This paper develops a general equilibrium model of the gender wage gap. The difference in earnings is a consequence of a demographic regularity--that men tend to marry younger women--which limits women's labor mobility. However, couples are always free not to marry, and do so only if it is in each's self-interest.
In our model, marriage is beneficial because the joint consumption is a household public good. The intrafamily allocation of resources is determined via noncooperative bargaining; this leads to interesting interactions between the game played by husband and wife on the one hand, and the competitive environment in which they are immersed on the other. One example of this is the gender gap.
JEL Classification: J12, J16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation