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Title: Career Choice, Marriage-Timing, and the Attraction of Unequals
Authors: Dessy, Sylvain
Djebbari, Habiba
Keywords: Marriage-timing
high-powered career
supermodular game
strategic complementarities
multiple equilibria
coordination failure
Issue Date: 2005-03
Series/Report no.: Cahiers du CIRPÉE;05-07
Abstract: Both men and women wish to have a family and a rewarding career. In this paper, we show that the under-representation of women in high-powered professions may reflect a coordination failure in young women's marriage-timing decisions. Since investing in a high-powered career imposes time strain, it precludes early participation in the marriage market. Delayed participation in the marriage market has a higher cost for women than for men because women have shorter fecundity horizons. Marriage prospects of high-powered women depend on the marriage-timing decisions of younger women. Under these assumptions, we show that women's marriage-timing decisions exhibit strategic complementarities. Coordination failures in women's marriage-timing decisions lead to persisting gender differences in career choices. Yet, differential fecundity is only necessary, but not sufficient to obtain gender inequality in high-powered professions. We discuss social changes that solve the coordination failure which achieving a Pareto-improvement in the society at large.
URI: http://132.203.59.36/CIRPEE/cahierscirpee/2005/files/CIRPEE05-07.pdf
https://depot.erudit.org/id/002037dd
Appears in Collections:Cahiers de recherche du CIRPÉE

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