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When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage Market Value of Young Men

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  • David H. Autor
  • David Dorn
  • Gordon H. Hanson

Abstract

We exploit the gender-specific components of large-scale labor demand shocks stemming from rising international manufacturing competition to test how shifts in the relative economic stature of young men versus young women affected marriage, fertility and children’s living circumstances during 1990-2014. On average, trade shocks differentially reduce employment and earnings of young adult males. Consistent with Becker’s model of household specialization, shocks to male’s relative earnings reduce marriage and fertility. Consistent with prominent sociological accounts, these shocks heighten male idleness and premature mortality, and raise the share of mothers who are unwed and the share of children living in below-poverty, single-headed households.

Suggested Citation

  • David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2018. "When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage Market Value of Young Men," CESifo Working Paper Series 7010, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    marriage market; fertility; mortality; household structure; single-parent families; trade flows; import competition; local labor markets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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