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The Rise and Fall of Divorce - A Sociological Adjustment of Becker’s Model of the Marriage Market

Signe Andersen () and Lars Hansen ()

No 2010/4, IFRO Working Paper from University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics

Abstract: Despite the strong and persistent influence of Gary Becker’s marriage model, the model does not completely explain the observed correlation between married women’s labor market participation and overall divorce rates. In this paper we show how a simple sociologically inspired extension of the model realigns the model’s predictions with the observed trends. The extension builds on Becker’s own claim that partners match on preference for partner specialization, and, as a novelty, on additional sociological theory claiming that preference coordination tend to happen subconsciously. When we incorporate this aspect into Becker’s model, the model provides predictions of divorce rates and causes that fit more closely with empirical observations.

Keywords: marriage; market (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 42 pages
Date: 2010-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lab
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:foi:wpaper:2010_04

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