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Assortative Mating and Female Labor Supply

Author

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  • Bredemeier, Christian

    () (University of Cologne)

  • Juessen, Falko

    () (University of Wuppertal)

Abstract

This paper investigates the pattern of wives' hours disaggregated by the husband's wage decile. In the US, this pattern has changed from downward-sloping to hump-shaped. We show that this development can be explained within a standard household model of labor supply when taking into account trends in assortative mating. We develop a model in which assortative mating determines the wage ratios within individual couples and thus the efficient time allocation of spouses. The economy-wide pattern of wives’ hours by the husband's wage is downward-sloping for low degrees, hump-shaped for medium degrees, and upward-sloping for high degrees of assortative mating. A quantitative analysis of our model suggests that changes in the gender wage gap are responsible for the overall increase in hours worked by wives. By contrast, the fact that wives married to high-wage men experienced the most pronounced increase is a result of trends in assortative mating.

Suggested Citation

  • Bredemeier, Christian & Juessen, Falko, 2010. "Assortative Mating and Female Labor Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 5118, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5118
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alena Bicakova & Stepan Jurajda, 2014. "The Quiet Revolution and the Family: Gender Composition of Tertiary Education and Early Fertility Patterns," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp504, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    2. Pestel, Nico, 2014. "Beyond Inequality Accounting: Marital Sorting and Couple Labor Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 8482, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Pestel, Nico, 2016. "Searching on the Campus? Marriage Market Effects of the Student Gender Composition by Field of Study," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145510, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. repec:bla:econom:v:84:y:2017:i:333:p:104-127 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Gavrilova, Evelina, 2013. "A Partner in Crime: Assortative Matching and Bias in the Crime Market," MPRA Paper 50432, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Pestel, Nico, 2017. "Searching on Campus? Marriage Market Effects of the Student Gender Composition," IZA Discussion Papers 11175, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Melissa Ruby Banzhaf, 2013. "When It Rains It Pours: Under What Circumstances Does Job Loss Lead to Divorce," Working Papers 13-62, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    8. Nico Pestel, 2015. "Marital Sorting, Inequality and the Role of Female Labor Supply: Evidence from East and West Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 786, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    9. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11150-015-9309-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Bredemeier, Christian & Juessen, Falko, 2012. "Minimum Wages and Female Labor Supply in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 6892, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Christian Bredemeier, 2015. "Household Specialization and the Labor-Supply Elasticities of Women and Men," Working Paper Series in Economics 81, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
    12. Popov, Alexander & Zaharia, Sonia, 2017. "Credit market competition and the gender gap: evidence from local labor markets," Working Paper Series 2086, European Central Bank.
    13. Matias Busso & Dario Romero Fonseca, 2015. "Female Labor Force Participation in Latin America: Patterns and Explanations," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0187, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    14. Hanna Kröger & Sandra Schaffner, 2011. "The Intensive and Extensive Margin of European Labour Supply," Ruhr Economic Papers 0291, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    15. Beck, Matthew J. & Hess, Stephane, 2016. "Willingness to accept longer commutes for better salaries: Understanding the differences within and between couples," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 1-16.
    16. Handy, Christopher, 2014. "Assortative Mating and Intergenerational Persistence of Schooling and Earnings," MPRA Paper 63829, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. repec:zbw:rwirep:0291 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Kröger, Hanna & Schaffner, Sandra, 2011. "The Intensive and Extensive Margin of European Labour Supply," Ruhr Economic Papers 291, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender wage gap; female labor supply; assortative mating;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation

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