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Marriage, Wealth, and Unemployment Duration: A Gender Asymmetry Puzzle

  • Lentz, Rasmus


    (Boston University)

  • Tranæs, Torben


    (Danish National Centre for Social Research (SFI))

This note presents evidence of the following gender asymmetry: the job-finding effort of married men and women is affected by the income of their spouses in opposite directions. For women, spouse income influences job finding negatively, just as own wealth does: the more the man earns and the wealthier the woman is, the longer it takes for her to find a job. The contrary is the case for men, where spouse income affects job finding positively: the more the wife earns, the faster the husband finds a job. This is so despite the fact that greater own wealth also prolongs unemployment spells for men. These findings are hard to reconcile with the traditional economic model of the family.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1607.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1607
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  1. Abowd, John M & Corbel, Patrick & Kramarz, Francis, 1997. "The Entry and Exit of Workers and the Growth of Employment: An Analysis of French Establishments," CEPR Discussion Papers 1765, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Yann Algan & Arnaud Cheron & Jean-Olivier Hairault & Francois Langot, 2003. "Wealth Effect on Labor Market Transitions," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 156-178, January.
  3. Svarer, Michael, . "Determinants of Divorce in Denmark," Economics Working Papers 2002-19, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  4. Rasmus Lentz & Torben Tranas, 2005. "Job Search and Savings: Wealth Effects and Duration Dependence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(3), pages 467-490, July.
  5. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
  6. Hans Bloemen & Elena Stancanelli, 2001. "Individual Wealth, Reservation Wages, and Transitions into Employment," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/9704, Sciences Po.
  7. Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "Unemployment Insurance And Unemployment Spells," NBER Working Papers 2546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Rasmus Lentz, 2003. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in an Estimated Job Search Model with Savings," CAM Working Papers 2004-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  9. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1997. "Match Quality, New Information, and Marital Dissolution," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages S293-329, January.
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