This article examines equilibrium self-improvement and marriage proposal strategies in a two-sided search model with nontransferable utility. Singles are vertically differentiated - some make better marriage partners than others. A complete characterization of equilibrium is provided. It is shown there are two externalities to self-improvement decisions. Further, these externalities may support multiple Pareto rankable equilibria. By encouraging everybody to self-improve, society can create a situation where everybody is forced to improve to remain "acceptable." But a preferred equilibrium may exist where there is less (costly) self-improvement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics