Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/224144
Authors: 
Cigno, Alessandro
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
GLO Discussion Paper 660
Abstract: 
We show that the descendants of ancient farmers may have an interest in marrying among themselves, and thus maintaining the gendered division of labour, originally justified on comparative-advantage grounds by the advent of the plough, even after they emigrate to a modern industrial economy where individual productivity depends on education rather than physical characteristics. The result rests on the argument that, if efficiency requires the more productive spouse to specialize in raising income, and the less productive one in raising children, irrespective of gender, an efficient domestic equilibrium will be implemented by a costlessly enforceable pre-marital contract stipulating that the husband should do the former and the wife the latter. A contract may not be needed, however, if time spent with children gives direct utility, because an efficient equilibrium may then be characterized by little or no division of labour.
Subjects: 
Plough
comparative advantage
gender
matching
hold-up problem
contract enforcement
migration
JEL: 
C78
D02
J16
J61
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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