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Same-Occupation Spouses: Preferences and Search Costs

Author

Listed:
  • Mansour, Hani

    () (University of Colorado Denver)

  • McKinnish, Terra

    () (University of Colorado, Boulder)

Abstract

Married individuals match with spouses who share their occupation more frequently than predicted by chance, suggesting either a preference for same-occupation matches or lower search costs within occupation. To distinguish between these explanations, we use a differences-in-differences strategy that compares the difference in wages between same-occupation husbands and different-occupation husbands across occupations with different percent male workers. Under the preferences mechanism, the difference should be decreasing in percent male. Under the search cost mechanism, the difference should be increasing in percent male. Our results are consistent with the search cost explanation, especially in occupations with greater degree of workplace communication.

Suggested Citation

  • Mansour, Hani & McKinnish, Terra, 2014. "Same-Occupation Spouses: Preferences and Search Costs," IZA Discussion Papers 8370, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8370
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Katja Maria Kaufmann & Matthias Messner & Alex Solis, 2013. "Returns to Elite Higher Education in the Marriage Market: Evidence from Chile," Working Papers 489, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
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    3. Josh Angrist, 2002. "How Do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage and Labor Markets? Evidence from America's Second Generation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 997-1038.
    4. Lones Smith, 2006. "The Marriage Model with Search Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(6), pages 1124-1146, December.
    5. Gunter J. Hitsch & Ali Hortaçsu & Dan Ariely, 2010. "Matching and Sorting in Online Dating," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 130-163, March.
    6. Michael Svarer, 2007. "Working Late: Do Workplace Sex Ratios Affect Partnership Formation and Dissolution?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
    7. Terra G. McKinnish, 2007. "Sexually Integrated Workplaces and Divorce: Another Form of On-the-Job Search," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).
    8. Michèle Belot & Marco Francesconi, 2013. "Dating Preferences and Meeting Opportunities in Mate Choice Decisions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(2), pages 474-508.
    9. Raymond Fisman & Sheena S. Iyengar & Emir Kamenica & Itamar Simonson, 2006. "Gender Differences in Mate Selection: Evidence From a Speed Dating Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 673-697.
    10. Jeanne Lafortune, 2013. "Making Yourself Attractive: Pre-marital Investments and the Returns to Education in the Marriage Market," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 151-178, April.
    11. Ran Abramitzky & Adeline Delavande & Luis Vasconcelos, 2011. "Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 124-157, July.
    12. Weitzman, Martin L, 1979. "Optimal Search for the Best Alternative," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 641-654, May.
    13. Linda Y. Wong, 2003. "Why so only 5.5% of Black Men Marry White Women?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(3), pages 803-826, August.
    14. Helena Skyt Nielsen & Michael Svarer, 2009. "Educational Homogamy: How Much is Opportunities?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(4).
    15. Hani Mansour & Terra McKinnish, 2014. "Who Marries Differently Aged Spouses? Ability, Education, Occupation, Earnings, and Appearance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(3), pages 577-580, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Pestel, Nico, 2017. "Searching on Campus? Marriage Market Effects of the Student Gender Composition," IZA Discussion Papers 11175, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Henry R. Hyatt, 2015. "Co-Working Couples and the Similar Jobs of Dual-Earner Households," Working Papers 15-23r, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    marital sorting; occupation; sex ratio; search frictions;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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