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Marriage, Cohabitation and Women’s Response to Changes in the Male Wage Structure

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  • Hou, Feng
  • Lu, Yuqian
  • Morissette, René
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    Abstract

    Using micro data and grouped data that cover the period 1996-2006, we assess the extent to which cohabiting women adjust their labour supply to a lesser extent, if any, than married women in response to changes in male wages. Both micro data regressions and grouping estimators unambiguously indicate that cohabiting women respond less to variation in male wages than married women. However, the magnitude of the difference is not sizeable. Combined with the fact that married men’s and cohabiting men’s own-wage elasticities do not differ much, this explains why the impact of changes in male wages on family earnings ends up being very similar for married couples and cohabiting couples.

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    File URL: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/workingpapers/CLSRN%20Working%20Paper%20no.%2037%20-%20Morissette,%20Lu,%20Hou.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Vancouver School of Economics in its series CLSSRN working papers with number clsrn_admin-2009-45.

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    Length: 42 pages
    Date of creation: 30 Aug 2009
    Date of revision: 30 Aug 2009
    Handle: RePEc:ubc:clssrn:clsrn_admin-2009-45

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    Web page: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/

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    Keywords: marriage; cohabitation; women’s labour supply;

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    1. Melvin Stephens, 2002. "Worker Displacement and the Added Worker Effect," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 504-537, July.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & David H. Autor & David Lyle, 2004. "Women, War, and Wages: The Effect of Female Labor Supply on the Wage Structure at Midcentury," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 497-551, June.
    3. Paul J Devereux, 2006. "Improved Errors-in-Variables Estimators for Grouped Data," Working Papers, School Of Economics, University College Dublin 200602, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
    4. Paul J. Devereux, 2007. "Small-sample bias in synthetic cohort models of labor supply," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(4), pages 839-848.
    5. Matthijs Kalmijn & Anneke Loeve & Dorien Manting, 2007. "Income dynamics in couples and the dissolution of marriage and cohabitation," Demography, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 159-179, February.
    6. Joshua Angrist, 1988. "Grouped Data Estimation and Testing in Simple Labor Supply Models," Working Papers 614, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    7. Valerie Oppenheimer, 2003. "Cohabiting and marriage during young men’s career-development process," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 127-149, February.
    8. Paul J. Devereux, 2004. "Changes in Relative Wages and Family Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
    9. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
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