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Social Norms, Labor Market Opportunities, and the Marriage Gap for Skilled Women

Author

Listed:
  • Bertrand, Marianne
  • Cortes, Patricia
  • Olivetti, Claudia
  • Pan, Jessica

Abstract

In most of the developed world, skilled women marry at a lower rate than unskilled women. We document heterogeneity across countries in how the marriage gap for skilled women has evolved over time. As labor market opportunities for women have improved, the marriage gap has been growing in some countries but shrinking in others. We discuss a theoretical model in which the (negative) social attitudes towards working women might contribute towards the lower marriage rate of skilled women, and might also induce a non-linear relationship between their labor market prospects and their marriage outcomes. The model is suited to understand the dynamics of the marriage gap for skilled women over time within a country with set social attitudes towards working women. The model also delivers predictions about how the marriage gap for skilled women should react to changes in their labor market opportunities across countries with more or less conservative attitudes towards working women. We test the key predictions of this model in a panel of 23 developed countries, as well as in a panel of US states.

Suggested Citation

  • Bertrand, Marianne & Cortes, Patricia & Olivetti, Claudia & Pan, Jessica, 2016. "Social Norms, Labor Market Opportunities, and the Marriage Gap for Skilled Women," CEPR Discussion Papers 11124, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11124
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Claudia Olivetti & Barbara Petrongolo, 2017. "The Economic Consequences of Family Policies: Lessons from a Century of Legislation in High-Income Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 205-230, Winter.
    2. Foster, Gigi & Stratton, Leslie S., 2017. "What Women Want (Their Men to Do): Housework and Satisfaction in Australian Households," IZA Discussion Papers 10832, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Barigozzi, Francesca & Cremer, Helmuth & Roeder, Kerstin, 2018. "Women's career choices, social norms and child care policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 162-173.
    4. Cristina Borra & Martin Browning & Almudena Sevilla, 2017. "Marriage and Housework," Working Papers 2017-049, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    5. Claudia Olivetti & Barbara Petrongolo, 2017. "The Economic Consequences of Family Policies: Lessons from a Century of Legislation," Working Papers 811, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    6. Steinhauer, Andreas, 2018. "Working Moms, Childlessness, and Female Identity," CEPR Discussion Papers 12929, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Andreas Steinhauer, 2018. "Working Moms, Childlessness, and Female Identity," Sciences Po publications 79, Sciences Po.
    8. repec:eee:labeco:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:132-146 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Haaland, Venke Furre & Rege, Mari & Telle, Kjetil & Votruba, Mark, 2018. "The intergenerational transfer of the employment gender gap," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 132-146.
    10. Dahl, Gordon B. & Kotsadam, Andreas & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2018. "Does Integration Change Gender Attitudes? The Effect of Randomly Assigning Women to Traditionally Male Teams," IZA Discussion Papers 11323, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Martin Halla & Julia Schmieder & Andrea Weber, 2018. "Job Displacement, Family Dynamics and Spousal Labor Supply," Economics working papers 2018-16, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    12. Karolina Goraus & Joanna Tyrowicz & Lucas van der Velde, 2017. "How (Not) to Make Women Work?," GRAPE Working Papers 1, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    13. Anne Ardila Brenøe, 2018. "Origins of gender norms: sibling gender composition and women's choice of occupation and partner," ECON - Working Papers 294, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    14. Jean-Marie Baland & Roberta Ziparo, 2017. "Intra-household bargaining in poor countries," WIDER Working Paper Series 108, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    15. Buckles, Kasey, 2017. "Maternal Socio-Economic Status and the Well-Being of the Next Generation(s)," IZA Discussion Papers 10714, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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