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Cohort-Level Sex Ratio Effects on Women’s Labor Force Participation

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  • Grossbard, Shoshana

    ()
    (San Diego State University)

  • Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina

    ()
    (San Diego State University)

Abstract

It follows from a number of theoretical models of marriage that the scarcer women are relative to men, i.e. the higher the sex ratio, the less married women are likely to participate in the labor force. Such sex ratio effects may be stronger among less educated women. These predictions are tested using individual data from Current Population Surveys for four regions of the U.S. (Northeast, Midwest, South and West), and for the U.S. as a whole, covering the period 1965 to 2005 at five-year intervals. Within-region sex ratio variation results from variation in cohort size (due principally to large fluctuations in number of births) and limited fluctuations in the difference between male and female age at marriage. As hypothesized, we find that sex ratios are inversely related to women’s labor force participation, reflecting that ceteris paribus women born in years of peak baby-boom are more likely to be in the labor force than women born in years of peak baby-bust. Additionally, weaker sex ratio effects are found among educated women in two of the four regions of the United States.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2722.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Review of Economics of the Household, 2007, 5 (3), 249-278
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2722

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Keywords: marriage markets; education; female labor force participation; sex ratios; cohorts;

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References

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  1. Kosei Fukuda, 2006. "A cohort analysis of female labor participation rates in the U.S. and Japan," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 379-393, December.
  2. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Working Papers 91-08, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
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  12. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1997. "Introducing Household Production in Collective Models of Labor Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 191-209, February.
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