Marriage and Work among Prime-Age Men
Abstract: Married men work substantially more hours than men who have never been married, even after controlling for observables. Panel data reveal that much of this gap is attributable to an increase in work in the years leading up to marriage. Two potential explanations for this increase are: (i) men hit by positive labor market shocks are more likely to marry; and (ii) the prospect of marriage increases men's labor supply. We quantify the relative importance of these two channels using a structural life-cycle model of marriage and labor supply. Our calibration implies that marriage substantially increases male labor supply. Counterfactual simulations suggest that if men were unable to marry, prime-age male work hours would fall by 7%, and if marriage rates fell to the extent observed, men born around 1980 would work 2% fewer hours than men born around 1960.
File format is application/pdf
Description: working paper
Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
Part of Series: Working Paper
Publication Date: 2023-01-13