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ECN 340
Thomas Barbiero

Marriage and Divorce 4. The New Home Economics: Marriage and Divorce Reading: McKenzie and Tullock, Chapter 5. Harford, Chapter 1 Many couples want to marry for the mutual benefits it can bring. Marriage is seen as a “commitment” that binds the partners together. This is because marriage is fraught with potential costs. The discussion will focus in on how “constraints” on couples to stay together have greatly diminished, leading to a rise in the divorce rate. Certainly, higher incomes for women have greatly reduced one of the main constraints for a particular woman to stay in a relationship in which costs are greater than the perceived benefits. The availability of market services, such as restaurants and daycare services for children affects the cost-benefit of each of the partner. NOTES The Marriage Contract - a legally enforced contract between a man and woman (or individual) - Mutually working things out being flexible and divide out chores, it's a contact like in a business firm -Without provisions or if there are disagreements it potentially results in divorce - Married couple tend to have more money and be more successful studies show in america - Although there is cost involved both parties must be mutually holders of all assets, this is when abusive events occur when one individual has a higher advantage than the other. - The greater cost of divers, the more a spouse can be expected to endure, all other things equal Holy Matrimony - Marriage is god based, bound to happen, - Also encourages full forgiveness to violation to formal and informal marriage commitment Cost Benefits of Marriage - Behavior of marriage is slightly rational - Maximize their utility -What are the benefits/costs of marriage and how long can you afford to search for an appropriate mate - wives usually decide about interior of the house - Some family members do not get to consume as much of a good as they want :ex bathroom - apportioning the family income is a (huge) cost - forgone cost of associating with other people - forgone choice of a `better; partner - (potential friends not made) Cost of Marriage - loss of independence - Your choice is not only yours, it impacts another individual therefore your choices have value much ore higher and are of deeper thought and time consuming - Decision Cost Exploitation of affection  In a loving relationship, one person is concerned about the welfare of the other  Each person in the relationship is both a donor of charitable expression (gifts) and a recipient  Each person realizes there is an unwritten social contract between the two: try to make the other person happy The Affection Model  Donor of a gift receives pleasure from giving to the recipient-the less expensive the gift the more often she/he will give/recall the downward sloping demand curve  Gifts can be in the form of money, box of candy, simply listening to the other person, or providing a sexual experience  Gifts are given until Marginal Cost=Marginal Benefit  But there is possibility of exploitation  The recipient can subtly say, give me this amount or I will rake nothing (deny you the pleasure of seeing me happy)  If the recipient asks 'too much' the donor may be better off giving nothing  The ability to extract a larger quantity from the donor depends on the number of alternative recipients for the gift  The exploitation f the donor will occur only to the extent that the recipient is unconcerned about the welfare of the donor  If the recipient cares, then any reduction in the donor's welfare will be a reduction's in the recipients' welfare, i.e: 'your happiness is my happiness' (and vice versa) Romantic Relationships  Definition: my happiness depends on the happiness of the person I love.  If I care about my wife, she can make me do things for much, I ordinarily would not do  But if she asks for too much, I can drop her even if I still love her  'Women's liberation movement' has in effect made it less likely for them to be exploits-ask for too much and she 'walks' Sexual Exploitation  An individual would like to give sex to his/her partner, but only up to a point  Some may try to exploit the partner by asking 'more' if you love me you will go all the way  If the man is one
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