Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

A Theory of Marriage: Part I

Gary S. Becker
Journal of Political Economy
Vol. 81, No. 4 (Jul. - Aug., 1973), pp. 813-846
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1831130
Page Count: 36
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($14.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
A Theory of Marriage: Part I
Preview not available

Abstract

I present in this paper the skeleton of a theory of marriage. The two basic assumptions are that each person tries to do as well as possible and that the "marriage market" is in equilibrium. With the aid of several additional simplifying assumptions, I derive a number of significant implications about behavior in this market. For example, the gain to a man and woman from marrying compared to remaining single is shown to depend positively on their incomes, human capital, and relative difference in wage rates. The theory also implies that men differing in physical capital, education or intelligence (aside from their effects on wage rates), height, race, or many other traits will tend to marry women with like values of these traits, whereas the correlation between mates for wage rates or for traits of men and women that are close substitutes in household production will tend to be negative. The theory does not take the division of output between mates as given, but rather derives it from the nature of the marriage market equilibrium. The division is determined here, as in other markets, by marginal productivities, and these are affected by the human and physical capital of different persons, sex ratios (that is, the relative numbers of men and women), and some other variables.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[unnumbered]
    [unnumbered]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[unnumbered]
    [unnumbered]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
813
    813
  • Thumbnail: Page 
814
    814
  • Thumbnail: Page 
815
    815
  • Thumbnail: Page 
816
    816
  • Thumbnail: Page 
817
    817
  • Thumbnail: Page 
818
    818
  • Thumbnail: Page 
819
    819
  • Thumbnail: Page 
820
    820
  • Thumbnail: Page 
821
    821
  • Thumbnail: Page 
822
    822
  • Thumbnail: Page 
823
    823
  • Thumbnail: Page 
824
    824
  • Thumbnail: Page 
825
    825
  • Thumbnail: Page 
826
    826
  • Thumbnail: Page 
827
    827
  • Thumbnail: Page 
828
    828
  • Thumbnail: Page 
829
    829
  • Thumbnail: Page 
830
    830
  • Thumbnail: Page 
831
    831
  • Thumbnail: Page 
832
    832
  • Thumbnail: Page 
833
    833
  • Thumbnail: Page 
834
    834
  • Thumbnail: Page 
835
    835
  • Thumbnail: Page 
836
    836
  • Thumbnail: Page 
837
    837
  • Thumbnail: Page 
838
    838
  • Thumbnail: Page 
839
    839
  • Thumbnail: Page 
840
    840
  • Thumbnail: Page 
841
    841
  • Thumbnail: Page 
842
    842
  • Thumbnail: Page 
843
    843
  • Thumbnail: Page 
844
    844
  • Thumbnail: Page 
845
    845
  • Thumbnail: Page 
846
    846