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Match of the Day: The Search for a Suitable Spouse

10 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2011  

Avi Bram

University of Oxford

Eda Seyhan

University of Oxford

Date Written: June 1, 2011

Abstract

The institutions of family and marriage may seem beyond the remit of economics, involving complexities which the discipline could only ever assume away. There is, however, a significant body of research, which applies the adaptable economists’ toolbox to these areas of life, often yielding a significant degree of insight. Gary Becker’s seminal Treatise on the Family, one of the first studies to subject decisions about sex, marriage, childbearing and childrearing to economic analysis, employed concepts such as the maximisation of family, or household, utility functions to explain family collective choice, with later authors using game theoretic models to offer a different perspective on the intra-household distribution of goods. However, the well-documented phenomenon of urban areas having higher divorce rates than rural regions is not addressed by existing family economics literature, despite the importance of such trends to social policy planners. We develop a new model that provides a theoretical basis for the difference in rural and urban divorce rates, drawing on insights from labour economics and social psychology that have not previously been applied to family economics.

Keywords: marriage, divorce, partner search

JEL Classification: J12

Suggested Citation

Bram, Avi and Seyhan, Eda, Match of the Day: The Search for a Suitable Spouse (June 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1853904 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1853904

Avi Bram (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Eda Seyhan

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

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