Theory and Decision

, Volume 85, Issue 3–4, pp 509–525 | Cite as

Why do young women marry old men?

  • Pavlo BlavatskyyEmail author


This paper presents an overlapping generations household model with positive assortative matching (richer individuals marry richer partners), incomplete information about partner’s type (it takes time to reveal income-earning capabilities of individuals) and a gender pay gap on the labor market (men are more likely to end up with a high-paying job). In equilibrium, a gender pay gap creates an excess supply of desirable husbands and women marry early to increase their chance of being matched with an ideal partner, which results in a gender age gap on the marriage market. A modified model with asymmetric information yields a similar result. An extended model where individuals have an option to remain single (the marriage market does not necessarily clear in equilibrium) yields a similar result as well.


Household models OLG models Marriage market Gender wage gap Age gap at marriage 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Montpellier Business SchoolMontpellier Research in ManagementMontpellier Cedex 4France

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