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Why are Married Men Working So Much?

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  • John Knowles

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

We document a negative trend in the leisure of men married to women aged 25-45, relative to that of their wives, and a positive trend in relative housework. Taken together, these trends rule out a popular class of labor supply models in which unitary households maximize the sum of the spouse’s utility. We develop a simple bargaining model of marriage, divorce and allocations of leisure-time and housework. According to the model, a rise in women’s relative wage will reduce husband’s leisure and marriage rates when the quality of single life is relatively high for women. Calibration to US data shows the trend in relative wages explains most of the trend in relative leisure and about a third of the trend in housework, while the simultaneous trend in home-durables prices explains the balance of the housework trend.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 05-031.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 01 Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:05-031

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Keywords: General Aggregative Models; Neoclassical; Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure; Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination; Time Allocation; Work Behavior; Employment Determination and Creation; Human Capital; Time Allocation and Labor Supply;

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  1. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & John A. Knowles, 2003. "More on Marriage, Fertility, and the Distribution of Income," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(3), pages 827-862, 08.
  2. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-49, June.
  3. Greenwood, Jeremy & Guner, Nezih, 2007. "Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households," CEPR Discussion Papers 6391, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Maurizio Mazzocco, 2004. "Individual Euler Equations Rather Than Household Euler Equations," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 497, Econometric Society.
  5. Hector Chade & Gustavo Ventura, 2001. "Income Taxation and Marital Decisions," Working Papers 35, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jun 2001.
  6. Chiappori, P.A. & Weiss, Y., 2000. "An Equilibrium Analysis of Divorce," Papers 00-18, Tel Aviv.
  7. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2006. "Measuring trends in leisure," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  8. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
  9. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2002. "Why Do Women Wait? Matching, Wage Inequality, and the Incentives for Fertility Delay," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 815-855, October.
  10. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2003. "Why are married women working so much?," Staff Report 317, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  1. Advanced Monetary Theory and Policy (ECON 447)

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