Thursday, February 23, 2006

Relationships VIII -- Do boys want to marry their moms?

While economists have not yet provided full justifcation for Freud, Raquel Fernández, Alessandra Fogli, and Claudia Olivetti argue that men do "marry their mom" in that men who's mothers were skilled or worked were more likely to marry women who are skilled or worked. The paper can be found here (much of it is quite technical, but the results might be interesting), and here is the abstract:

This paper argues that the evolution of male preferences contributed to the dramatic increase in the proportion of working and educated women in the population over time. Male preferences evolved because some men experienced a different family model one in which their mother was skilled and/or worked. These men, we hypothesize, were more inclined to marry women who themselves were skilled or worked. Our model endogenizes the evolution of preferences in a dynamic setting and examines how it affected women's education and labor choices. We present empirical evidence based on GSS data that favors our transmission mechanism. We show that men whose mothers were more educated or worked are more likely to marry similar women themselves.

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