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Marriage, Specialization, and the Gender Division of Labor

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  • Matthew J. Baker
  • Joyce P. Jacobsen

Abstract

We consider why the gender division of labor is so often enforced by custom and why customary gender divisions of labor generally involve both direction and prohibition. In our formal model, agents first learn skills and then enter the marriage market. We show that wasteful behavior may emerge due to strategic incentives in specialization choice and human capital acquisition and that both problems may be mitigated through a customary gender division of labor. This division is not Pareto improving. Both the distributional effects and welfare gains of a customary gender division of labor decrease as opportunities for market exchange increase.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 25 (2007)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 763-793

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:25:y:2007:p:763-793

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Cited by:
  1. Wenshu Gao & Russell Smyth, 2009. "Health Human Capital, Height and Wages in China," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 05-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  2. Lundberg, Shelly, 2005. "The Division of Labor by New Parents: Does Child Gender Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 1787, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Marina Della Giusta & Nigar Hashimzade & Sarah Jewell, 2011. "Why Care? Social Norms, Relative Income and the Supply of Unpaid Care," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2011-03, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  4. Anne Solaz & François-Charles Wolff, 2014. "Intergenerational correlation of domestic work: Does gender matter?," Working Papers 206, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).
  5. Matthew J. Baker & Joyce P. Jacobsen, 2005. "A Human Capital-Based Theory of Post Marital Residence Rules," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2005-006, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  6. Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Murat Iyigun & Yoram Weiss, 2006. "Investment in Schooling and the Marriage Market," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_034, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  7. Iyigun, Murat, 2009. "Marriage, Cohabitation and Commitment," IZA Discussion Papers 4341, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Bruze, Gustaf, 2010. "Male and Female Marriage Returns to Schooling," Working Papers 10-17, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  9. Waka Cheung & Yew-Kwang Ng, 2011. "Gender Division of Labor and Alimony," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 17-11, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  10. Domenico Tabasso, 2011. "With or Without You: Hazard of Divorce and Intra-household Allocation of Time," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2011n07, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  11. repec:rdg:wpaper:em-dp2011-03 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Domenico Tabasso, 2009. "With or Without You: Time Use Complementarities and Divorce Rate in the US," Economics Discussion Papers 674, University of Essex, Department of Economics.

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