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Implicit in the Beckerian marriage market model is the fact that everything that happens post-marriage is determined while choosing the partner. This is obviously one of the weak links of this model. The truth is that whoever, within the marriage, has the greater share of resources or makes more money often calls the shots on most decisions. In this case, the other person, if s he is able to foresee that their pay-offs from getting married are lower, can refuse the marriage and not getting married may be an equilibrium outcome.

Robert Pollak of the Washington University, St. Louis, in a new National Bureau of Economic Research working paper , shows that equilibrium within a marriage market is determined by how someone can foresee the gains or tribulations from the prospective marriage. Foresight may ruin the marriage. Another key assumption in the Becker marriage model is that families pool their resources, optimizing a single objective function for the couple, in which only these pooled resources affect the choices made by the family.

In a study , Pollak, Shelly Lundberg and Terence Wales put this pooling hypothesis to an empirical test in which they examined the impact of a child benefit programme in the UK in the s. Until Margaret Thatcher assumed office, the programme paid money to all families with kids via tax benefits, typically to the husband. The Thatcher government restructured this programme and decided to pay the mothers cash.

Becker also ignored the fact that the utilities of spouses are not the same, and that bargaining within marriage determines the equilibrium outcome. In a Journal of Development Economics paper , Siwan Anderson and Mukesh Eswaran show that market wages have far greater bargaining power than that of household work.

The Economics of Marriage, and Family Breakdown

Bargaining within marriage is crucially hinged upon the ability of the person to find an easy exit from the marriage. During the s, divorce rates in the US started increasing.

A combination of factors—including divorce legislation, the availability of contraceptive pills and the opening up of the labour market to women—delayed the age at marriage and lowered the barriers to exit the marriage. The rising female labour force participation within the country contributed to the rise in divorces.

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Economic analysis of same-sex marriage.

But the more interesting question is: Is this farce or fraud? Or do they exalt single living? As I explain in this one-minute animated video , rich families spend a lot more on their kids than poor families do. Is that waste, or economic stimulus? Also, allowing more poor people to immigrate.


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Probably getting rich people to have more kids and spend more on them is not as good, because there is so much waste on rich kids. But I could be wrong. Filed under In the news. Tagged as consumption , economics , marriage , marriage promotion , national marriage project , spending. In a rush to prove Brad Wilcox wrong the fact he is wrong is not in doubt and represents the old conservative republican line , you miss the principal reasons for the reduction in marriages; the growing college premium on income and the resulting assortative mating, and the loss of the ability of less-than-college educated to negotiate income, owing to the loss of industry.

The cycle of assortative mating, and the use of free trade and immigration to blunt working class pay, are the dual battering horns of inequality. Race is a considerably smaller impact, as black or hispanic women have not shown the same reluctance to marry out of class. One hopes that faculty with tenure would use classical economic analysis to identify and resolve issues, rather than use their position to reinforce republican-democrat cleavage.

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This is true for both left wing professors and the Wilcoxian faculty. Like Like. You may hope that faculty with tenure would write their personal blog posts in the very specific way that you prefer and address the topics that you define as most important, but only an economist or solipsist would publicly imply that this view is collectively shared. It is not related to this blog post. This and a series of other replies on other blog posts have been intended to narrow the issues and make him uncomfortable and force him to address certain questions realistically.

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My job in other life is to channel hundreds of million dollars to universities and national labs for research. I do this by setting hard milestones and deliverables, and focus questions such that correct answers can be obtained. Our scientists at both, national labs an universities are outstanding in arguing against each others points, and trying to extend minor research problems into many many years, without providing any closure.

It delays the demographic dividend that can come from reduced fertility and investments in education. The associated cost to the global economy is trillions of dollars in purchasing power parity betweem now and Child marriage disrupts the accumulation of human capital due to its associated school dropouts, withdrawal from labor markets, and adverse effects on the health of young girls.

It perpetuates extreme poverty and hinders efforts to achieve economic growth and equity.

Ending the practice of child marriage would lead to better prospects for young girls: improved educational attainment, fewer children, increased lifetime expected earnings, improved household incomes, reduced incidence of intimate partner violence, and more decision-making power. Allowing girls access to higher education changes the prospects of households and the economy for the better.

Enabling girls to receive more education increases the likelihood that their children will be educated, thereby improving the human capital of the future labor force of the economy. Governments would enjoy budget savings by foregoing the cost of providing basic education, healthcare, and other social services to a rising population. Lower population growth would save governments 5 percent or more of their education budget by The benefits would be felt strongly by poorer segments of the population and lead to an alleviation of poverty.

A 10 percent decrease in child marriages would result in a 76 percent decrease in the maternal mortality rate. They believe that understanding the economic benefits would increase the funding by donors and governments towards delaying the age of marriage. BRAC tackles the practice of child marriage by introducing economic incentives. The NGO teaches financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and banking practices to girls, which allows them to contribute to their households and increase their agency.

The University of Kent developed an overlapping generational model of the marriage market in developing countries by mapping a desirable female attribute whose value decreases with time spent on the marriage market, such that age signals quality.

The Far-Reaching Economic Impacts of Child Marriage

This model demonstrates that, in the absence of intervention, young potential brides have an incentive to accept an offer of marriage sooner than later. Some adolescent girls can then turn down marriage to pursue other opportunities or utilize their higher bargaining power to negotiate more favorable marriage offers so it becomes more difficult for men to prey on young, uneducated brides.

The eradication of child marriage has been recognized as a priority by its inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals. It is an example of how a social problem is propagated by financial concerns and, as such, interventions should aim to establish the economic benefits of ending the practice. Featured Image Source: India Today.