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To my Wife, with Love! Does Within-household Specialisation Explain Husbands' Better Job-education-match?

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    Abstract

    Married male workers are found to have a lower incidence of overeducation. A theoretical explanation for this phenomenon is lacking. We test in our study whether the traditional specialisation of spouses’ time between home and market production tends to improve a husband’s jobeducation- match (JEM). We test this hypothesis first by drawing on the method used in the marriage wage premia literature based mainly on the model of Becker (1985). In addition, we perform a new test following the theory of François (1998), which requires less restrictive assumptions. Overall, our results show that within-household specialisation (WHS) explains a substantial part of the superior JEM of husbands, regardless of whether a wife’s labour market participation (experience) or both spouses housework hours are used to measure specialisation. The results and in particular the independent and significant impact of women’s housework hours on their husbands’ JEM, however, speak clearly in favour of François’ theory and against the explanation of Becker. Testing for an endogeneity bias due to a possible sorting process of more able husbands with “traditional” spouses or a measurement error of the JEM does not alter these conclusions.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 04-93.

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    Length: 40 pages
    Date of creation: Nov 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:04-93

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    Keywords: Overeducation; Household models; Human capital; Labour productivity;

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    1. Francis Green & Steven McIntosh, 2007. "Is there a genuine under-utilization of skills amongst the over-qualified?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 427-439.
    2. McGoldrick, KimMarie & Robst, John, 1996. "Gender Differences in Overeducation: A Test of the Theory of Differential Overqualification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 280-84, May.
    3. Manser, Marilyn & Brown, Murray, 1980. "Marriage and Household Decision-Making: A Bargaining Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
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    15. Büchel, Felix & Battu, Harminder, 2002. "The Theory of Differential Overqualification: Does it Work?," IZA Discussion Papers 511, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Arnaud Chevalier, 2003. "Measuring Over-education," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(279), pages 509-531, 08.
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