Econometrica: Nov 2017, Volume 85, Issue 6

Marriage, Labor Supply, and Home Production

DOI: 10.3982/ECTA11221
p. 1873-1919

Marion Goussé, Nicolas Jacquemet, Jean‐Marc Robin

We develop a search model of marriage where men and women draw utility from private consumption and leisure, and from a non‐market good that is produced in the home using time resources. We condition individual decisions on wages, education, and an index of family attitudes. A match‐specific, stochastic bliss shock induces variation in matching given wages, education, and family values, and triggers renegotiation and divorce. Using BHPS (1991–2008) data, we take as given changes in wages, education, and family values by gender, and study their impact on marriage decisions and intrahousehold resource allocation. The model allows to evaluate how much of the observed gender differences in labor supply results from wages, education, and family attitudes. We find that family attitudes are a strong determinant of comparative advantages in home production of men and women, whereas education complementarities induce assortative mating through preferences.

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