On the emergence of toyboys: The timing of marriage with aging and uncertain careers

Melvyn G. Coles, Marco Francesconi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We explore how gender bias in career opportunities affects matching in a marriage market with search frictions and where an individual's fitness decays with age. We document a "being left on the shelf" effect where young singles, who find the marriage market rapidly thins with age, rush into early partnership. Singles with stronger career opportunities, however, have a greater option value to defer marriage. More equal career opportunities for women (captured by greater schooling and better occupations) potentially explain the recent emergence of toyboy unions, in which the woman is at least 5 years older than her partner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)825-853
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Economic Review
Volume52
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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