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A Marriage-Market Perspective on Risk-Taking and Career Choices: Theory and Evidence

Author

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  • Zhang, Hanzhe

    (Michigan State University, Department of Economics)

  • Zou, Ben

    (Michigan State University, Department of Economics)

Abstract

We investigate how the marriage market affects risk-taking and career choices in a general equilibrium framework. We show that women's relative inability to reap the benefits of a risky career due to their shorter reproductive span helps explain a set of observed gender differences in the labor market and marriage market outcomes. Our theory predicts that compared with men, women are less likely to choose a risky career when unmarried, have lower within-gender wage dispersion, marry earlier, and if they choose a risky career, are less likely to have children. We provide empirical evidence consistent with theoretical predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Hanzhe & Zou, Ben, 2020. "A Marriage-Market Perspective on Risk-Taking and Career Choices: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 2020-12, Michigan State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:msuecw:2020_012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. He, Simin & Wu, Jiabin & Zhang, Hanzhe, 2021. "Experimental and Noncooperative Analyses of Decentralized Matching with Transfers," Working Papers 2021-2, Michigan State University, Department of Economics.
    2. Zhang, Hanzhe, 2020. "Pre-matching gambles," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 76-89.
    3. Wu, Jiabin & Zhang, Hanzhe, 2021. "Preference evolution in different matching markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    marriage market; risk-taking; occupational choices; differential fecundity; gender;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • 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

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