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Marriage, Cohabitation and Women’s Response to Changes in the Male Wage Structure

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Listed:
  • Hou, Feng
  • Lu, Yuqian
  • Morissette, René

Abstract

Using micro data and grouped data that cover the period 1996-2006, we assess the extent to which cohabiting women adjust their labour supply to a lesser extent, if any, than married women in response to changes in male wages. Both micro data regressions and grouping estimators unambiguously indicate that cohabiting women respond less to variation in male wages than married women. However, the magnitude of the difference is not sizeable. Combined with the fact that married men’s and cohabiting men’s own-wage elasticities do not differ much, this explains why the impact of changes in male wages on family earnings ends up being very similar for married couples and cohabiting couples.

Suggested Citation

  • Hou, Feng & Lu, Yuqian & Morissette, René, 2009. "Marriage, Cohabitation and Women’s Response to Changes in the Male Wage Structure," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-45, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 30 Aug 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:clssrn:clsrn_admin-2009-45
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    File URL: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/workingpapers/CLSRN%20Working%20Paper%20no.%2037%20-%20Morissette,%20Lu,%20Hou.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Melvin Stephens, 2002. "Worker Displacement and the Added Worker Effect," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 504-537, July.
    2. Paul J. Devereux, 2004. "Changes in Relative Wages and Family Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
    3. Angrist, Joshua D., 1991. "Grouped-data estimation and testing in simple labor-supply models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2-3), pages 243-266, February.
    4. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
    5. Devereux, Paul J., 2007. "Improved Errors-in-Variables Estimators for Grouped Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 278-287, July.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & David H. Autor & David Lyle, 2004. "Women, War, and Wages: The Effect of Female Labor Supply on the Wage Structure at Midcentury," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 497-551, June.
    7. Valerie Oppenheimer, 2003. "Cohabiting and marriage during young men’s career-development process," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(1), pages 127-149, February.
    8. Matthijs Kalmijn & Anneke Loeve & Dorien Manting, 2007. "Income dynamics in couples and the dissolution of marriage and cohabitation," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 44(1), pages 159-179, February.
    9. Paul J. Devereux, 2007. "Small-sample bias in synthetic cohort models of labor supply," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(4), pages 839-848.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    marriage; cohabitation; women’s labour supply;

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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