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When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage-Market Value of Young Men

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  • David Autor
  • David Dorn
  • Gordon Hanson

Abstract

We exploit the gender-specific components of large-scale labor demand shocks stemming from rising international manufacturing competition to test how shifts in the relative economic stature of young men versus young women affected marriage, fertility and children’s living circumstances during 1990-2014. On average, trade shocks differentially reduce employment and earnings, raise the prevalence of idleness, and elevate premature mortality among young males. Consistent with Becker’s model of household specialization, shocks to male relative stature reduce marriage and fertility. Consistent with sociological accounts, these shocks raise the share of mothers who are unwed and share of children living in below-poverty, single-headed households.

Suggested Citation

  • David Autor & David Dorn & Gordon Hanson, 2017. "When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage-Market Value of Young Men," NBER Working Papers 23173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23173
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Guy Michaels & Ashwini Natraj & John Van Reenen, 2010. "Has ICT Polarized Skill Demand? Evidence from Eleven Countries over 25 years," NBER Working Papers 16138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak & Jenna Stearns, 2016. "Family Inequality: Diverging Patterns in Marriage, Cohabitation, and Childbearing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 79-102, Spring.
    3. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-846, July-Aug..
    4. Elizabeth Ananat & Anna Gassman-Pines & Christina Gibson-Davis, 2013. "Community-Wide Job Loss and Teenage Fertility: Evidence From North Carolina," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(6), pages 2151-2171, December.
    5. Denis Chetverikov & Bradley Larsen & Christopher Palmer, 2015. "IV Quantile Regression for Group-level Treatments, with an Application to the Distributional Effects of Trade," NBER Working Papers 21033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Barry Naughton, 2007. "The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262640643, January.
    7. Guy Michaels & Ashwini Natraj & John Van Reenen, 2014. "Has ICT Polarized Skill Demand? Evidence from Eleven Countries over Twenty-Five Years," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 60-77, March.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage-Market Value of Men
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2017-03-31 18:24:55

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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2018. "Deaths of Despair or Drug Problems?," NBER Working Papers 24188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Melissa S. Kearney & Riley Wilson, 2017. "Male Earnings, Marriageable Men, and Nonmarital Fertility: Evidence from the Fracking Boom," NBER Working Papers 23408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Teresa C. Fort & Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2018. "New Perspectives on the Decline of US Manufacturing Employment," NBER Working Papers 24490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Liepmann, Hannah, 2018. "The Impact of a Negative Labor Demand Shock On Fertility - Evidence From the Fall of the Berlin Wall," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 69, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    5. Anne Case & Angus Deaton, 2017. "Mortality and Morbidity in the 21st Century," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 48(1 (Spring), pages 397-476.
    6. Shushanik Hakobyan & John McLaren, 2018. "NAFTA and the Wages of Married Women," NBER Working Papers 24424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Fletcher, Jason M. & Polos, Jessica, 2017. "Nonmarital and Teen Fertility," IZA Discussion Papers 10833, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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