Resource title

Career Choice, Marriage-Timing, and the Attraction of Unequals

Resource image

image for OpenScout resource :: Career Choice, Marriage-Timing, and the Attraction of Unequals

Resource description

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 highpowered 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 while achieving a Pareto-improvement in the society at large.

Resource author

Sylvain Dessy, Habiba Djebbari

Resource publisher

Resource publish date

Resource language


Resource content type


Resource resource URL

Resource license

Adapt according to the presented license agreement and reference the original author.