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Efficiency in marriage

Author: Shelly Lundberg; Robert A Pollak; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, MA. : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©2001.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 8642.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Abstract: Economists usually assume that bargaining in marriage leads to efficient outcomes. The most convincing rationale for this assumption is the belief that efficient allocations are likely to emerge from repeated interactions in stationary environments, and that marriage provides such an environment. This paper argues that when a current decision affects future bargaining power, inefficient outcomes are  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Shelly Lundberg; Robert A Pollak; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 48998614
Notes: "December 2001."
Description: 1 online resource (26 pages) : illustrations.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 8642.
Responsibility: Shelly Lundberg, Robert A. Pollak.

Abstract:

Abstract: Economists usually assume that bargaining in marriage leads to efficient outcomes. The most convincing rationale for this assumption is the belief that efficient allocations are likely to emerge from repeated interactions in stationary environments, and that marriage provides such an environment. This paper argues that when a current decision affects future bargaining power, inefficient outcomes are plausible. If the spouses could make binding commitments -- in effect, commitments to refrain from exploiting the future bargaining advantage -- then the inefficiency would disappear. But spouses seldom can make binding commitments regarding allocation within marriage. To investigate the efficiency of bargaining within marriage when choices affect future bargaining power, we consider the location decisions of two-earner couples. These location decisions are transparent and analytically tractable examples of choices likely to affect future bargaining power, but the logic of our analysis applies to many other decisions. For example, decisions about education, fertility, and labor force participation are also potential sources of inefficiency.

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