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Couple Formation in France: The Changing Importance of Labor Market Early Career Path

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  • Olivia Ekert-Jaffé

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  • Anne Solaz

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Abstract

This article shows that couple formation and labor market early career path (as measured by unemployment, insecure employment, and characteristics of the first job) are intrinsically linked. We use data from the 1997 ‘Jeunes et Carrières’ survey to consider the experience of two different generations. We show that, with the arrival of mass unemployment, labor market early career path has become an important factor in couple formation, while the effect of education has diminished for young men in recent cohorts. The rise of the two-earner couple has gone hand-in-hand with greater symmetry between men and women in terms of couple formation: specifically, unemployment now reduces couple formation for both sexes. Some more traditional aspects persist however: (i) Women who are inactive on the labor market form couples earlier than do other women; (ii) Low wages in the first job encourage (discourage) couple formation for women (men); (iii) Higher education favors men's couple formation, but not that of working women; and (iv) Temporary work does not discourage couple formation by women. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Suggested Citation

  • Olivia Ekert-Jaffé & Anne Solaz, 2002. "Couple Formation in France: The Changing Importance of Labor Market Early Career Path," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 223-239, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbioec:v:4:y:2002:i:3:p:223-239 DOI: 10.1023/A:1021741431509
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ekert-Jaffe, Olivia & Solaz, Anne, 2001. "Unemployment, marriage, and cohabitation in France," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 75-98, January.
    2. Grossbard-Shechtman, Shoshana Amyra, 1982. "A Theory of Marriage Formality: The Case of Guatemala," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(4), pages 813-830, July.
    3. Liliane Bonnal & Denis Fougère, 1990. "Les déterminants individuels de la durée du chômage," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 96(5), pages 45-82.
    4. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-846, July-Aug..
    5. Keeley, Michael C, 1979. "An Analysis of the Age Pattern of First Marriage," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(2), pages 527-544, June.
    6. Chantal Cases, 1996. "Assurance-chômage et offre de travail," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 291(1), pages 139-150.
    7. Olivier Galland, 1995. "Une entrée de plus en plus tardive dans la vie adulte," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 283(1), pages 33-52.
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