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Toyboys or Supergirls? An analysis of partners' employment outcomes when she outearns him

Author

Listed:
  • Hans Bloemen

    (Free University of Amsterdam)

  • Elena Stancanelli

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

Abstract

In this paper we study households in which the woman is the main earner, encompassing both dual-earners with the wife outearning the husband and couples in which the husband is not employed. The literature in this area is very scant. Earlier studies find that the wife outearns the husband in roughly one of every four dual-earner couples in North-American countries. According to our estimates, the wife earns a higher hourly wage than the husband in one of every six French households, including couples with an inactive partner, and, moreover, this proportion is almost the same considering partners' monthly earnings. Economic models of marriage would predict that the wife's earnings dominance be compensated by the husband being younger or possibly more attractive than the wife. Using a large dataset of couples, drawn from the French Labor Force surveys, we find that larger spousal age differences correlate positively with the occurrence of couples in which only the wife works but negatively with dual-earners in which she outearns the husband. Therefore, a marriage selection type of story may explain the occurrence of female solo-earner households while the emergence of "power couples" may provide a rationale for dual-earners in which the wife outearns the husband.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Bloemen & Elena Stancanelli, 2015. "Toyboys or Supergirls? An analysis of partners' employment outcomes when she outearns him," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" hal-00966804, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:pseose:hal-00966804
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00966804
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Stancanelli, Elena G. F., 2014. "Divorcing Upon Retirement: A Regression Discontinuity Study," IZA Discussion Papers 8117, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. François Cochard & Hélène Couprie & Astrid Hopfensitz, 2018. "What if women earned more than their spouses? An experimental investigation of work-division in couples," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 21(1), pages 50-71, March.
    3. Nicolas Moreau & Elena Stancanelli, 2013. "Household Consumption at Retirement: A Regression Discontinuity Study on French," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13072, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    4. Nicolas Moreau & Elena Stancanelli, 2015. "Household Consumption at Retirement : A Regression Discontinuity Study on French Data," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 117-118, pages 253-276.
    5. Bellido, Héctor & Molina, José Alberto & Solaz, Anne & Stancanelli, Elena, 2016. "Do children of the first marriage deter divorce?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 15-31.
    6. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11150-016-9354-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Yamamura, Eiji & Tsutsui, Yoshiro, 2019. "Spousal gaps in age and identity, and their impact on the allocation of housework," MPRA Paper 92059, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    wage inequality; gender; employment;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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