Further results on hypergamy

by on May 16, 2013 at 4:47 pm in Economics, Education, Science, Uncategorized | Permalink

This paper, by Marianne BertrandJessica Pan, and Emir Kamenica, was pointed out by Matt Yglesias on Twitter, the abstract is this:

We examine causes and consequences of relative income within households. We establish that gender identity – in particular, an aversion to the wife earning more than the husband – impacts marriage formation, the wife’s labor force participation, the wife’s income conditional on working, marriage satisfaction, likelihood of divorce, and the division of home production. The distribution of the share of household income earned by the wife exhibits a sharp cliff at 0.5, which suggests that a couple is less willing to match if her income exceeds his. Within marriage markets, when a randomly chosen woman becomes more likely to earn more than a randomly chosen man, marriage rates decline. Within couples, if the wife’s potential income (based on her demographics) is likely to exceed the husband’s, the wife is less likely to be in the labor force and earns less than her potential if she does work. Couples where the wife earns more than the husband are less satisfied with their marriage and are more likely to divorce. Finally, based on time use surveys, the gender gap in non-market work is larger if the wife earns more than the husband.

Their title is “Gender Identity and Relative Income within Households.”  There is a non-gated copy here.

1 RobT May 16, 2013 at 5:00 pm

The patriarchal demands of the Abrahamic religions need to be re-imposed in order to restrain female hypergamy if Western Civ. is to survive.

2 anon May 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm

For those who don’t realize it, if you listen to Catholic radio, they are quite explicit about this. Food stamps are a radical feminist plot to destroy the family.

3 Jamie_NYC May 16, 2013 at 7:31 pm

“Food stamps are a radical feminist plot to destroy the family.” Omit the ‘are a radical feminist plot’ part – do you disagree? The illegitimacy rate among US hispanics, a traditionally Catholic community, is over 50%.

4 tt May 16, 2013 at 7:40 pm

” Food stamps to destroy the family.”
yes i disagree with that statement

5 Jamie_NYC May 16, 2013 at 8:30 pm

In other words, you believe that if there was no social safety net, *fewer* men would choose to provide for their biological children?

I think that there is a chain of reasoning frequent in these debates (perhaps you are not engaging in it?) that goes something like this: “we must not admit that social institutions that are beneficial overall have any downside whatsoever, otherwise who knows what could happen!”

6 tt May 17, 2013 at 12:25 am

well mainly i was commenting on how your “omit” would destroy the sentence.
but yes,the men who leave their kids because they think
“its ok they have food stamps”… maybe they should not stay around.

7 mrmandias May 17, 2013 at 8:45 am

It’s probably more about the marginal woman choosing not to get pregnant with a man who isn’t a likely provider. That would make more sense as a hypothetical mechanism.

8 Bill May 17, 2013 at 7:29 am

There is Catholic radio, and their is a right wing nut you may have heard on Catholic radio. Don’t confuse them, or, if you can’t, please explain why the Catholic Church has always supported expansion of food stamps and shelves.

Pope Francis is waiting for your reply.

9 Jim May 17, 2013 at 11:21 am

Isn’t the Catholic Church all about social justice? They generally support safety net programs.

10 Mike May 16, 2013 at 8:32 pm

I think you misunderstand the term hypergamy. It means that women like to marry up, so patriarchal demands don’t restrain hypergamy at all.

11 Leon Kautsky May 16, 2013 at 10:32 pm

I think it also means that women will, if allowed, *cheat up* too – hence the problems.

12 Therapsid May 16, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Patriarchal demands of course *do* restrain hypergamy by regulating or all but prohibiting wife-initiated divorce, by supporting paternal rights to choose spouses for their daughters, and by ostracizing female promiscuity.

13 ThomasH May 17, 2013 at 6:36 am

Jamie, Is it conceivable in your worldview that certain social institutions (e.g. food stamps) could have some downsides but are nevertheless beneficial?

14 Anon May 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Suppose you’re a smart 18 year-old woman. What do you do with this information? Throw the game? How much does the game matter?

15 Mark May 16, 2013 at 5:19 pm

“if the wife’s potential income (based on her demographics) is likely to exceed the husband’s, the wife is less likely to be in the labor force and earns less than her potential if she does work”

That sounds like “throwing the game” to me.

16 Urso May 16, 2013 at 5:42 pm

If we assume ‘the game’ is to make as much money as possible, and that the most important type of achievement is professional achievement. many people make these depressingly dehumanizing assumptions without even realizing they are doing so. I suspect that includes the authors of this paper.

17 Alex' May 16, 2013 at 7:17 pm

“The game” means different things* to different people. Not every woman’s idea of achievement in life is to birth and nature a large brood, while not every man’s is to work himself into an aneurysm to make as much money as possible. I think it’s a good thing that people are capable of trying to pursue whatever goals suit them best. It may have caused some problems in the short term, but I think society will adjust.

* Or it just means drug dealing in Baltimore

18 Mike Hess May 16, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Smart 18 year old women should use this information by trying not to marry jealous dickheads, or anyone at all.

19 David May 16, 2013 at 8:48 pm

…and the corollary,men who are who are sufficiently self-confident can effectively earn rents by coupling with better women. Such men benefit not only from the superior earnings of their spouses. By not allowing their personal weaknesses and insecurities to impede their potential mates, they position themselves as relatively more attractive partners than they would otherwise be for women with more potential. When society provides women with more options, it raises the participation constraint on the marital contract.

20 Frederic Mari May 17, 2013 at 3:25 am

I wish it were so…

Actually, women are just as guilty as men in propagating and maintaining those received ideas… i.e. I know quite a few women who do like the idea or the fact of being with a man earning less than them… It attacks their sense of femininity and of “the right way the world ought to be”…

i.e. women with strong earning potential usually try to pair up with men of even greater earning potential (pool-boy fantasies or vacation flings asides).

21 Jim Clay May 17, 2013 at 9:28 am

David and Mike Hess do not understand this at all. It is the women that do not want to be partnered with a “lesser” man. This does, of course, go against the grain of assuming that anything that is wrong must be the fault of men.

22 DW May 17, 2013 at 11:10 am

I would love to know how one could go about justifying placing the blame on either the men or the women. Maybe men don’t want to marry women who make more than them. Maybe women don’t want to marry men who make less than them. Maybe it’s both? How the hell could you know?

23 David May 17, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I teach and get to know a lot of future high-earning men and women. To begin with, none of them get married at 18. While it s true that the women, *all else equal*, would prefer partners capable of out earning them, there are now nearly two high-achieving young women for every high-achieving young man. A significant fraction of them aren’t thinking about marriage or family life at all, as they expect to be bounced around the world by their careers They’ll be thinking about marriage and family life in their late-20s or early-30s, after the initial phase of their career and grad school have been sorted.I also work and socialize with a number of men and women in the post-career-start-up and post-grad-school phase of life. Women in that group value men that respect and encourage what the women are doing and that provide emotional support, as they have no particular need for material support.

The he-man breadwinner stereotype is, perhaps, more salient to the so-called working class. The disappearance of well-paid manufacturing and labour jobs makes it very difficult for men of that social class to out earn their female peers. I could see how this could be a big factor contributing to lower rates of marriage and/or higher rates of divorce.

Still, a well educated, twenty-something guy with decent relationship skills and fewer insecurities than his peers is definitely in a sellers’ market. In fact, mating market prospects for such men get increasingly better with age, at least through age 50 or so.

24 derek May 16, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Is it the men who have trouble with the woman making more money, or is it the women?

I would suggest to the young 18 year old woman to wait a bit, then select someone they can imagine respecting in 20 years.

25 Therapsid May 17, 2013 at 12:07 am

18 year old girls are, on average, incapable of judging who they’ll respect in 20 years. This is why functioning and sustainable societies have allowed fathers and older brothers to assist young girls in selecting husbands.

26 DW May 17, 2013 at 11:12 am

Give 18 year olds some credit. After all, 18-year old boys have regularly selected their wives in the past.

27 Hazel Meade May 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Decide to be the sole breadwinner and keep a boyfriend/gigalo solely for child-rearing/sex-slave purposes.

28 Larry Siegel May 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm

>What do you do with this information?

Not get pregnant.

29 Dangerman May 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm

I wonder how much professional respect Tyler has for Roissy?

30 Steve Sailer May 16, 2013 at 8:58 pm

A lot.

31 Dangerman May 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm

I wonder how much professional respect Tyler has for Roissy?

I think a non-zero amount.

32 Alex' May 16, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Did Roissy invent the word? So he’s more than some 50 year old who brags on his blog about picking up 18 year olds, all while quoting Steve Sailer and Vox to justify his actions?

33 Leon Kautsky May 16, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I think picking up 18 year olds needs no justification. It’s a good in and of itself.

34 Alex' May 17, 2013 at 11:42 am

Fair. Whatever floats your boat. But when he suggests reading up on Twilight so that you can get get into Team Edward v. Team Jacob arguments, you might want to check your rudder.

35 Dangerman May 16, 2013 at 8:15 pm

“Did Roissy invent the word?”

A reasonable question. Apparently, no… the word “hypergamy” was coined in about 1883:

http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=hypergamy&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=

36 Therapsid May 16, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Who popularized the term in modern times? Roissy and other writers of the so-called manosphere clearly did.

37 Dangerman May 17, 2013 at 2:33 am

True.

I just thought it would be fun to check the ngram.

38 Claudia May 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm

We’ve already talked about this paper: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2012/12/assorted-links-650.html#comments

I remain skeptical of what the underlying mechanisms actually are and their relative importance.

39 prior_approval May 16, 2013 at 10:55 pm

One of the ways to establish a narrative is through repetition. Especially when facts aren’t really the best foundation to support that narrative with.

40 Cliff May 17, 2013 at 10:47 am

Yeah, this appears to just be the final version, not a new paper

41 Claudia May 17, 2013 at 12:01 pm

NBER working paper is NOT final … revised but not refereed.

42 Thomas May 16, 2013 at 5:27 pm

The much-lauded liberation of female “choice” — choice in sexual partners, reproductive choice, career choice, “lifestyle” choice, choice of social support services from the government — over the last generation is now a fixture of Western civilization.

The moral force behind this female empowerment is the extent to which it represents returning to individual females their sovereignty.

What about male individual sovereignty?

Under natural law the ultimate power — the power that shapes the future — of female individual sovereignty is the choice of which genes make it into the next generation and that power is exercised through birth.

Under natural law the ultimate power of male individual sovereignty is the choice of that which is to be killed in single combat.

Civilization is founded on a meta-stable “deal” in which females give up their individual sovereignty to their mates and their mates give up their individual sovereignty to the State. If, in this scenario, you liberate only one sex, not only does civilization collapse, but until it does, the circumstances are unbearable to the sex not liberated.

In Western civilization there is no going back to the age of females giving up their individual sovereignty to their mates, so Western civilization is ending and we are left with two choices:

Figure out how to legitimize formal individual combat to the death between males, or adopt Islam.

That’s a true dilemma

43 Jason W. May 16, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Or guys can just stop being assholes and be happy for their wives when they do their best, even if that includes bringing home the most money. Problem solved.

“Combat to the death.” Good god.

44 Geoff Olynyk May 16, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Thomas posts this crap on every Roissy-bait post on MR. Frankly, I find it more fascinating than infuriating. If he’s actually sincere about it, we’re dealing with a person with serious delusions.

45 Leon Kautsky May 16, 2013 at 6:04 pm

@Jason W.

Why do you automatically assume that the results are caused by “guys…being assholes”?

46 Jason W. May 16, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Because common sense tells me so. Obviously any marriage can fail for any number of reasons, and this failure can be the fault of the wife or husband or both. That goes without saying. But when marriages go against the traditional grain in a way that reallocates the balance of ‘power’ (in this case, earnings) in a relationship, you can expect the ‘loser’ of that re-balancing to be bitter about it. And you can expect bitter people to be assholes.

Also, I don’t ‘automatically assume’ it. I assume it based on evidence from my own social circles. This may not be statistically valid evidence, but it’s not an automatic assumption, either. My wife makes quite a bit more than I do, and pretty much all of the women she works with make more than their husbands do, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time around these husbands. I predict many of them — typically the macho, alpha male types — will soon be ex-husbands. Why? Because they’re assholes. They don’t seem happy for their wives, they seem bitter, in a vague way. Like they’re bothered by the whole arrangement. Like their wives have something that was owed to them instead. They seem to think about marriage in terms of power — who wears the pants? — and it’s their view that the husband should have the ‘power.’ And since they don’t make the most money — and don’t have sole say over purchasing decisions, which is embarrassing for them — they try to exercise their power in other ways, namely by being assholes. I can barely stand to be around them for more than a few minutes. I can’t imagine living with them.

47 Jamie_NYC May 16, 2013 at 7:44 pm

You have the evidence, all right, but you may be misinterpreting it. Earlier, you wrote: “Or guys can just stop being assholes and be happy for their wives when they do their best, even if that includes bringing home the most money.” How far do you think this can go – can little boys just learn to play with dolls and be happy? Can most girls learn to love participating in rough sports (American football, boxing)? It seems to me that rather than being ‘assholes’, your friends feel frustrated in what they feel is one of their main functions as men – being a provider. And, of course, it is quite possible that it’s the women who feel more dissatisfied in this changed relationship – perhaps they would like to be cared for (materially), or would prefer to be with someone they can look up to.

48 Leon Kautsky May 16, 2013 at 8:05 pm

“Because common sense tells me so. Obviously any marriage can fail for any number of reasons, and this failure can be the fault of the wife or husband or both. That goes without saying. But when marriages go against the traditional grain in a way that reallocates the balance of ‘power’ (in this case, earnings) in a relationship, you can expect the ‘loser’ of that re-balancing to be bitter about it. And you can expect bitter people to be assholes.”

Hmm…that’s not what the study says though. According to your theory, if the balance of power shifts in favor of the man, that should cause more marriage break-ups because women would get assholey. But that’s precisely the opposite of what the study says.

“Also, I don’t ‘automatically assume’ it. I assume it based on evidence from my own social circles. This may not be statistically valid evidence, but it’s not an automatic assumption, either. My wife makes quite a bit more than I do, and pretty much all of the women she works with make more than their husbands do, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time around these husbands. I predict many of them — typically the macho, alpha male types — will soon be ex-husbands. Why? Because they’re assholes. They don’t seem happy for their wives, they seem bitter, in a vague way. Like they’re bothered by the whole arrangement. Like their wives have something that was owed to them instead. They seem to think about marriage in terms of power — who wears the pants? — and it’s their view that the husband should have the ‘power.’ And since they don’t make the most money — and don’t have sole say over purchasing decisions, which is embarrassing for them — they try to exercise their power in other ways, namely by being assholes. I can barely stand to be around them for more than a few minutes. I can’t imagine living with them.”

ok…So basically, in your extremely atypical social circle your mental model predicts a (yet unobserved in your sample) result that is inline with the study and thus you extrapolate that the same causative mechanism must be at work in both cases. Maybe, but at any rate I think you might benefit from reading this:

http://www.amazon.com/Uncontrolled-Surprising-Trial—Error-Business/dp/046502324X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368749068&sr=8-1&keywords=Uncontrolled

49 ad*m May 16, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Interesting, I realize that you really *cannot* get it.

Let’s start with the consistent finding that almost 70% of heterosexual divorces are initiated by women not men. http://www.unc.edu/courses/2010fall/econ/586/001/Readings/Brinig.pdf
Another datapoint is that women, even normal women, *love* assholes. http://www.amazon.com/Women-Who-Love-Men-Kill/dp/0595003990
http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/boston-bombing-suspect-dzhokhar-tsarnaev-s-disturbing-female-fan-club-191627312.html

But more specifically, the results of the paper are about *female* hypergamy. That you are happy with your beta marriage is not even anecdotal proof of anything. Female hypergamy, as confirmed again by this paper, shows – statistically – that your *wife* is likely to be unhappy, with you, and that she would be more likely to be happy if you were more of an asshole and less beta. And she would be the one to initiate divorce if she is too unhaaaappy.

And if this ever happens to you, and I truly hope it does not, I hope you will find help at http://marriedmansexlife.com/

Dream on!

50 asdf May 16, 2013 at 11:34 pm

And yet female erotica is mostly about asshole alpha male types, though in fairness they are usually rich (50 Shades of Grey).

51 Doug May 17, 2013 at 2:03 am

“And yet female erotica is mostly about asshole alpha male types, though in fairness they are usually rich (50 Shades of Grey).”

A significant portion of male erotica is about females having group sex with multiple males. Yet not too many guys in real life are looking for long-term partners who are down with getting double-teamed by the deliveryman and the pool boy.

What people fantasize about frequently has little to do with what they seek in real life. Most fiction of both the erotic and non-erotic variety involves racy, exciting, dangerous, thrilling situations. Yet most people go to great lengths to structure their real-lives to minimize those situations as much as possible.

People, women included, generally want their excitement well encapsulated within the bounds of their books.

52 Doug May 17, 2013 at 2:19 am

“That you are happy with your beta marriage is not even anecdotal proof of anything.”

I like to play a game when a mainstream blog post gets infected by commenters from the Roissy-sphere.

Try to predict how many posts it will take until they need to break out ad hominem attacks. Generally the conversation goes something like this:

Roissy-ier: [Relatively sensible proposition X. Vastly exaggerated claim Y. Totally non-sensical conclusion Z]
Sensible debater: Well, I could see why some of your points are kind of true and may be overlooked by mainstream society, but in general you’re vastly over-simplifying and ignoring both common sense.
Roissy-ier: Oh my God! You just don’t understand because you’re a beta chump who’s been brainwashed by society. Only alpha PUAs like myself who have taken the red pill know how the real world works! In order to understand how the simple female brain works you need to seduce at least several hundred of them. Roissy is the greatest thinker since Aristotle and anyone who disagrees with him is jealous of his sexual prowess!

53 lemmy caution May 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm

I would not discount what Jason W. is saying. It is plausible that this situation causes men to act badly. But, still. Don’t intentionally put yourself in a situation where you are likely to act badly.

54 Mike Hess May 16, 2013 at 8:17 pm

It’s not an assumption. It’s a stated conclusion in the study.

The other two panels of Figure 1 show the counterfactual distributions that would arise if matches were formed through costly search within marriage markets de ned by age, race, and education.2 The outcome in Panel (b) stems from the assumption that both men and women prefer partners with higher income. Panel (c) depicts the distribution that would arise if men dislike women’s income once it exceeds their own. Only the distribution generated by the gender identity norms (Panel (c)) shares the key distinctive feature of the true distribution (the sharp drop at 0.5.)

Page 2

55 Leon Kautsky May 16, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Don’t have time to read the study, but what about panel D? The distribution that would arise if women dislike men who have a lower income?

56 A Nobody May 19, 2013 at 11:32 pm

I think there was a novel written back in the 1960s about this and the perils of matriarchy. It was called DUNE.

57 Benny Lava May 16, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Are there age differences or are the results uniform for all age cohorts?

58 Thomas May 16, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Divorce and remarriage are centralized in a minority of men in the West. For many, this means they leave behind a stream of women and possibly offspring. In extreme cases, they don’t even bother to marry and divorce—they merely cuckold other men. Both of these are less desirable for beta males than the situation in, say, Africa, where women do most of the agricultural labor because the environment lets them bear it.

In the West, although women are “farming” the managerial state because the environment lets them bear it, the alphas don’t even show the betas the respect due to men who care for the alphas children. When polygyny is formalized, there are at least roles like eunuchs which are formally respected by the alphas—rather than having the alphas and their harems continually trying to convince the betas they are actually homosexual, or “hateful,” or that there’s something “wrong” with them, or whatever.

It’s simply a more humane system than de facto polygyny because it is more honest.

Monogamy, or more accurately, the suppression of of polygyny, is an artifact of technology which allowed us to expand into other climates (i.e. harsh climates with low carrying capacity) where female dependence on male technology for reproduction was a fact of life.

So if the individual male is no longer the primary provider, then it’s Africanization time.

The pressure toward de jure polygyny is actually from the females although they would never admit it. Many women simply cannot maintain a fertile relationship with a man who they perceive as genetically a dead end—which, in the current vicious environment, is any so-called “nice guy”. But neither can they admit to themselves what, exactly, is bugging them. So many end up with no children at all. Moreover, many women who end up being kicked out of their positions as concubines to the managerial state—usually right around the age they are starting to run a risk of “difficult” pregancies—would be far better off if they were in a real harem with relationships with fellow concubines and their children that are not going to be terminated just because they are no longer fertile.

59 Brian Donohue May 16, 2013 at 6:46 pm

“Monogamy, or more accurately, the suppression of of polygyny, is an artifact of technology”

Really? It seems to me that humans ‘natural’ structure is not at all clear-cut. Look at our nearest relatives: gorillas run a harem structure (small testicles), while chimps and bonobos (big balls) practice a more free-wheeling sexuality.

Human nuts fall somewhere in-between. Pair-bonding and monogamous structures are not unheard-of among mammals, though not as common as among birds. But I thought there was some decent evidence in favor of the view that humans are inclined to pair-bonding (maybe serial monogamy.)

It’s true in general that males compete and females choose, but this plays out in a variety of ways among different species, including monogamy.

60 Thomas May 16, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Civilization is built on the pretense that husbands are alpha males so that they don’t revolt against those in positions of authority. The 60s exploded that pretense leaving the glass ceiling protecting those positions of authority as the real alpha males surrounding themselves by de facto harems. It has taken decades, but the consequences are now coming home to roost in the form of high fertility rates among patriarchal immigrant cultures. Islam is the the likely beneficiary since it dispenses with the hypocrisy surrounding de facto harems and formally sanctions harem sizes limited to a maximum of 4 females.

No one wants to even consider what the counterpart to female liberation might be. But consider: A female’s godhood is exercised when she chooses which genes will pass through her to the next generation. A male’s godhood is exercised when he chooses which other male he will meet in a natural duel to prevent his genes from passing into the next generation — or die trying.

If males are liberated, the glass ceiling would be shattered along with all positions of authority.

61 Chris s May 16, 2013 at 7:24 pm

This is fascinating…. Can you post a link to your manifesto? May ease the tedium of retyping it each time.

62 Leon Kautsky May 16, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Everyone’s gotta have a shtick. Some people’s shticks are a little crazier than others.

63 bluto May 16, 2013 at 10:00 pm

What’s ironic, is Thomas’ predictions basically occurred in the urban ghettos of the US. Men did become extraordinarily violent as marriage rates broke down.

64 Leon Kautsky May 16, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Not baiting, where is your study?

65 bluto May 16, 2013 at 10:49 pm

No study, but there’s a nice correlation. Unmarried rate by 35 is on page 24:
http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/marriage/data/acs/ElliottetalPAA2012paper.pdf
Murder rate by race 1976-1991:
http://www.saf.org/images/Lotke4.gif

66 Leon Kautsky May 16, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Interesting, it’s plausible, but I’d have to see the same people pinned down rather than pop sampled before I could believe it. Thanks!

67 Doug May 17, 2013 at 2:05 am

So? Marriage rates also broke down in Scandinavia. For example 65% of births in Iceland are to unmarried mothers. Yet violent crime rates in Scandinavia are still pretty close to the lowest in human history.

68 Leon Kautsky May 17, 2013 at 11:13 am

Ok, I’m normally pretty skeptical of the alternative right’s analyses but how Spergy do you have to be to conflate the Scandinavian-marriage-in-all-but-name-experience with what happens in America’s inner cities?

69 lords of lies May 18, 2013 at 12:54 am

very spergy. or very disingenuous. unmarried momhood in most of america is SINGLE MOMHOOD. there’s no father around, most of the time. in sweden, unmarried momhood is accompanied by unmarried fatherhood. cohabitation replaced marriage, but the cohabiting swedes still (mostly) behave as the married swedes of yore.

pf course, none of this would make any sense to a blank slatist, feminist equalist, so disingenuousness is the order of the day until such time that the sheer weight of contrary evidence causes uncontrollable abject shame and retreat from public discourse to lick wounds privately.

70 Leon Kautsky May 18, 2013 at 3:11 am

So…are you Roissy or one of the CR writers, the writing style is exactly the same…

71 lemmy caution May 17, 2013 at 1:52 pm

That is more of a postdiction if it already happened.

72 Miley Cyrax May 16, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Only misogynists could believe that women prefer higher-earning men. What next are they going to say, that women prefer taller men?

73 Jim Clay May 17, 2013 at 9:39 am

Heh.

74 NPW May 17, 2013 at 11:07 am

The only rational comment here.

75 Dismalist May 16, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Relax, all ye hypersensitives, worried about civilization!

My wife currently out-earns me by a factor of four on the labor market. She spent 10 years raising our children, so the lifetime differential is not as large, but it’s still noticeable. She did what she wanted to do, and I was most happy to help.

In return, she got a husband who is not a complete dolt, only a partial dolt.

Only relative prices matter. 🙂

–Content, nay, happy, Dismalist

76 jackmcg May 17, 2013 at 1:46 pm

The safest bet on the board is that your wife is fat, ugly or both.

77 Bill May 16, 2013 at 7:35 pm

So, according to the reasoning of this study,

Same sex marriages

Should result in higher total family and household income.

78 mw May 16, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Good find.

79 Leon Kautsky May 16, 2013 at 10:03 pm

pretty kewl

80 Robin Hanson May 16, 2013 at 7:52 pm

I look forward to someone figuring out how to measure what fraction of this effect is due to male vs. female preferences.

81 mike hess May 16, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Why does that matter? Eliminating the social stigma towards women who earn more money than their husbands, whether it comes from women or men primarily, would entail significant economic benefits.

82 Mike May 16, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Is it a social stigma, though? I think part of the question is whether men and women prefer it that way. What utility function is being maximized if people don’t prefer the alternative you’re advocating?

83 cimon alexander May 16, 2013 at 9:09 pm

“What utility function is being maximized if people don’t prefer the alternative you’re advocating?”

The utility function of the ideal marxist man, of course! It’s the only utility function worth maximizing.

84 Doug May 17, 2013 at 2:07 am

Seems pretty easy to test. Do a standard speed dating experiment, but split into two groups. In one group only report the female’s income to the males. In the other vice versa.

See in which group the 0.5 dropoff point is most prominent.

85 Leon Kautsky May 17, 2013 at 11:16 am

Might not work because of systematically different levels of self-knowledge among men and women. Suppose that men (even blind ones) know *exactly* what they want. Suppose that women, on the other hand, learn about their *ahem* preferences through their actions, but not through introspection.

In this case, it would still be women’s preferences driving the effect, but your study + Ockham’s razor would lead you *precisely* the wrong direction.

86 ladderff May 16, 2013 at 9:29 pm

You guys who throw around words like “insecure” are missing the point. Insecurity is an existential fact of being a man and regarding the income ratio question, this evil and retrograde “insecurity” men are said to exhibit is the appropriate reaction to the accurate assessment that if your wife out earns you she is more likely to lose the ol’ vagina tingles (if I may borrow a Rossiyite coinage). If a man feels insecure because he is on a lake covered in thin ice, it makes little sense to deride him for it.

In other words, what if the answer to the question Robin Hanson just posed is: mainly women?

Speakijg of Hanson, the Hansonian read on all these smug men coming to this thread to deride male insecurity is, transparently, to signal.thay they suffer no such hang-ups. Good for you. One of you noted that women would find such a signal attractive, which is true! But prrsumably you don’t comment here to practice your game, so we should probably try for more earnestness and less posturing.

87 David May 17, 2013 at 9:33 pm

I think the reason that threads like this one attract so much attention at MR is the strong association between (i) nerd revenge fantasy, (ii) interest in Ayn Rand, and (iii) interest in Austrian economics. While none of the groups is a proper subset of the others, there is a significant and highly visible minority that fall within the intersection. They imagine themselves to be Randian hero types but explain away their failure to achieve that which they think is due them by the evil conspiracy of leftist moochers, debased societal norms etc. etc. I’m guessing that there are more than a few bitter divorced men swirling around in the aforementioned pool.

I never knew about Rossy until this thread, but I’m thrilled by the discovery. I see many hours of amusement in my future.

88 lords of lies May 18, 2013 at 12:43 am

“I never knew about Rossy until this thread”

liar. your baseless and ego-assuaging “nerd revenge” ad hominem gives you away as a boiling hater.

89 ladderff May 18, 2013 at 10:33 am

Careful, David: people are going to think I paid you to provide support for my post.

90 A Nobody May 19, 2013 at 11:35 pm

The notion of the moocher hordes dark overlords and their politician puppets finally coming for Americans’ guns and then earning well justified and provoked retribution may be part of this too. But at least the gunosphere guys warn it’s going to be a lot more like Grozny or Sarajevo and descend into barbarity rather than another 1776.

91 asdf May 16, 2013 at 11:40 pm

Look, people here are male nerds. When you were young and poor did women pay attention to you?

How did that change when you were older and earning a lot more money because of that big ‘ol brain of yours?

Maybe, duh women are attracted to money. Money buys you things you want. Men tend to give women money to buy things they want. If a man earns less then a woman then he can’t buy her many things she wants that she can’t buy herself. Ergo, he is less valuable to her. When you’re not valuable to your partner they tend to dump you. And when you know you are likely to get dumbed for not being valuable enough you become “insecure”.

The same effect would be present in a woman who gained weight and became less attractive then her partner.

92 John Mansfield May 17, 2013 at 8:03 am

“Instead, the relative difference between partners’ levels of attractiveness appeared to be most important in predicting marital behavior, such that both spouses behaved more positively in relationships in which wives were more attractive than their husbands, but they behaved more negatively in relationships in which husbands were more attractive than their wives.”

http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2010/01/how-important-is-physical-attractiveness-to-a/

93 ron May 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Suggestion:

Maybe the skill set and emotional mindset developed in order to earn said money is what is attractive to women as opposed to the actual or claimed size of the bank account.

Imagine a shut in dweeb who comes up with a great idea and then translates that idea into a major business that also requires him to destroy his competitors, etc. Such a man would be formidable in person, and that is what is attractive.

Alternatively consider a dweeb that comes up with an idea that does not require him to put in much effort to destroy his competitors. What sort of girl will he have even with an oversized bank account?

yyyup.

94 Granite26 May 17, 2013 at 9:42 am

I find it interesting that no one has mentioned the whole ‘women, in general, make 70% of what men make’ thing in regards to this. Even if you believe the ‘unfair’ is just a different bundle of cash to perks, it’s still interesting that the cutoff is exactly 50%. It’s a fun way to pull SES out of consideration

95 Leon Kautsky May 17, 2013 at 11:17 am

That’s because people here are economically literate.

96 Floccina May 17, 2013 at 11:40 am

There is always a lot of moaning by on these subjects by men, but homely women have always had difficulty in these areas so homely women are now joined by low earning men.

97 Bill May 17, 2013 at 11:43 am

Hypergamy is the likely explanation for higher interracial marriage success rate of “White male”/”other race female” marriages over “other race male”/”White female” marriages. Women are more satisfied when they are married to higher status individuals and in Western countries, White males have higher status.

98 Alan K. May 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm

I can’t wait to share this with my high-earning wife! Will that engender (!) a Schrodinger’s paradox of preferences?

99 angajare videochat May 31, 2013 at 12:45 pm

It’s nearly impossible to find educated people in this particular subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

Thanks

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