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Love, money, and parental goods: Does parental matchmaking matter?

Fali Huang, Ginger Zhe Jin and Lixin Xu ()

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2017, vol. 45, issue 2, 224-245

Abstract: While parental matchmaking has been widespread throughout history and across countries, we know little about the relationship between parental matchmaking and marriage outcomes. Does parental involvement in matchmaking help ensure their needs are better taken care of by married children? This paper finds supportive evidence using a survey of Chinese couples. In particular, parental involvement in matchmaking is associated with having a more submissive wife, a greater number of children, a higher likelihood of having any male children, and a stronger belief of the husband in providing old age support to his parents. These benefits, however, are achieved at the cost of less marital harmony within the couple and lower market income of the wife. The results render support to and extend the findings of (Becker et al., 2015) where parents meddle with children’s preferences to ensure their commitment to providing parental goods such as old age support.

Keywords: Marriage; Matchmaking; Parental matchmaking; China; Agency cost; Old age support; Parental goods; Preference manipulation; Endogenous institutions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J12 D82 D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Working Paper: Love, Money, and Parental Goods: Does Parental Matchmaking Matter? (2016) Downloads
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