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Gender discrimination and efficiency in marriage: the bargaining family under scrutiny

Abstract

We consider a repeated family bargaining model that links the topics of employment and households. A key aspect of the model is that marital bargaining power is determined endogenously. We show that: (1) the efficiency of household decisions is sometimes inversely related to the prevailing degree of gender discrimination in labor markets; (2) women who are discriminated against have difficulty enforcing cooperative household outcomes because they may be extremely limited to credibly punish opportunistic behavior by their male partners; (3) the likelihood that sharing rules such as “equal sharing” are maintained throughout a marriage relationship is highest when men and women face equal opportunities in labor markets.

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Correspondence to Helmut Rainer.

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Responsible editor: Deborah Cobb-Clark

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Rainer, H. Gender discrimination and efficiency in marriage: the bargaining family under scrutiny. J Popul Econ 21, 305–329 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00148-007-0143-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00148-007-0143-x

Keywords

  • Gender discrimination
  • Family bargaining
  • Reputation

JEL Classification

  • D13
  • J71
  • J82