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Marriage and Work: an analysis for French couples in the last decade

This paper looks at French couples’ labour market behaviour over the last thirteen years, from 1990 to 2002. We find that the proportion of dual earners couples has been steadily rising over time. Joint activity rates have gone up from 52% in 1990 to over 58% in 2002. About a fifth of women in dual earners couples in our sample earns a higher gross monthly salary than their husbands. The proportion of male breadwinners couples has diminished steadily overtime, from 30% in 1990 to 22% in 2002; while that of female breadwinners has increased from 5% to 7%. We provide some descriptive and exploratory analysis of the determinants of the labour market states of spouses, accounting for class endogamy as well as for changing macroeconomic conditions. W e find that class endogamy is an important determinant of the labour market states occupied by spouses. Wives that earn more than their husbands are either low-educated women with a low-educated husband or high-educated women. Classification-JEL : D1, J12, J21 Keywords : Marriage, work behaviour, household economics.

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Paper provided by Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE) in its series Documents de Travail de l'OFCE with number 2007-10.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fce:doctra:0710
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  1. Chiappori, P.A., 1994. "Introducing Household Production in Collective Models of Labour Suply," DELTA Working Papers 94-18, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  2. Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn G, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-68, February.
  3. Apps, Patricia, 2004. "Gender, time use, and models of the household," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3233, The World Bank.
  4. Patricia Apps, 2006. "Family Taxation: An Unfair and Inefficient System," CEPR Discussion Papers 524, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  5. Robert Drago & David Black & Mark Wooden, 2004. "Female Breadwinner Families: Their Existence, Persistence and Sources," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2004n19, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  6. Elena Stancanelli, 2006. "Les couples sur le marché de l'emploi. Une analyse exploratoire des années récentes," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/9719, Sciences Po.
  7. Apps, Patricia F & Rees, Ray, 1997. "Collective Labor Supply and Household Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 178-90, February.
  8. DUGUET Emmanuel & SIMONNET Veronique, 2004. "The participation of couples in the labor market: an econometric analysis," Labor and Demography 0411005, EconWPA.
  9. Rees, Ray, 1988. "Taxation and the Household," Munich Reprints in Economics 3411, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. Apps, P.F. & Rees, R., 1993. "Labor Supply, Household Production and Intra-Family Welfare Distribution," Papers 248, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
  11. Burdett, Kenneth & Coles, Melvyn G, 1999. "Long-Term Partnership Formation: Marriage and Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F307-34, June.
  12. Benoît Rapoport & Catherine Sofer & Anne Solaz, 2011. "Household production in a collective model: some new results," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 23-45, January.
  13. Apps, Patricia & Rees, Ray, 2005. "Gender, Time Use and Public Policy over the Life Cycle," IZA Discussion Papers 1855, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Stéfan Lollivier, 2001. "Les choix d'activité des femmes en couple : une approche longitudinale," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 349(1), pages 125-140.
  15. Olivier Donni & Nicolas Moreau, 2005. "Collective Labor Supply: a Single-Equation Model and Some Evidence from French Data," Cahiers de recherche 0516, CIRPEE.
  16. Sylvie Lagarde & Jean-David Fermanian, 1999. "Les horaires de travail dans le couple," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 321(1), pages 89-110.
  17. Pencavel, John, 1998. "Assortative Mating by Schooling and the Work Behavior of Wives and Husbands," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 326-29, May.
  18. Apps, Patricia F. & Rees, Ray, 1988. "Taxation and the household," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 355-369, April.
  19. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
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