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Why are Married Men Working So Much?

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  • John Knowles

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

We document a negative trend in the leisure of men married to women aged 25-45, relative to that of their wives, and a positive trend in relative housework. Taken together, these trends rule out a popular class of labor supply models in which unitary households maximize the sum of the spouse’s utility. We develop a simple bargaining model of marriage, divorce and allocations of leisure-time and housework. According to the model, a rise in women’s relative wage will reduce husband’s leisure and marriage rates when the quality of single life is relatively high for women. Calibration to US data shows the trend in relative wages explains most of the trend in relative leisure and about a third of the trend in housework, while the simultaneous trend in home-durables prices explains the balance of the housework trend.

Suggested Citation

  • John Knowles, 2005. "Why are Married Men Working So Much?," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-031, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:05-031
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2006. "Measuring trends in leisure," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    2. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & John A. Knowles, 2003. "More on Marriage, Fertility, and the Distribution of Income," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(3), pages 827-862, August.
    3. Larry E. JONES & Rodolfo E. MANUELLI & Ellen R. McGRATTAN, 2015. "Why Are Married Women Working so much ?," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 75-114, March.
    4. Chiappori, P.A. & Weiss, Y., 2000. "An Equilibrium Analysis of Divorce," Papers 2000-18, Tel Aviv.
    5. Hector Chade & Gustavo Ventura, 2005. "Income Taxation and Marital Decisions," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(3), pages 565-599, Juky.
    6. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2009. "Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23, pages 231-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
    8. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2002. "Why Do Women Wait? Matching, Wage Inequality, and the Incentives for Fertility Delay," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 815-855, October.
    9. Maurizio Mazzocco, 2004. "Individual Euler Equations Rather Than Household Euler Equations," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 497, Econometric Society.
    10. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-349, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time Over Five Decades," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 969-1006.
    2. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2006. "Measuring trends in leisure," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    3. Stefania Albanesi & Claudia Olivetti, 2006. "Gender roles and technological progress," 2006 Meeting Papers 411, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Gelber, Alexander M. & Mitchell, Joshua W., 2009. "Taxes and Time Allocation: Evidence from Single Women," MPRA Paper 19148, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Hanno Lustig, "undated". "The Wealth-Consumption Ratio: A Litmus Test for Consumption-based Asset Pricing Models," UCLA Economics Online Papers 420, UCLA Department of Economics.
    6. Bar, Michael & Leukhina, Oksana, 2005. "Accounting for Changes in Labor Force Participation of Married Women: The Case of the U.S. since 1959," MPRA Paper 17264, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2009.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    General Aggregative Models; Neoclassical; Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure; Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination; Time Allocation; Work Behavior; Employment Determination and Creation; Human Capital; Time Allocation and Labor Supply;

    JEL classification:

    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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    1. Advanced Monetary Theory and Policy (ECON 447)

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