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Is there still an added-worker effect?
Using matched March Current Population Surveys, we examine labor market transitions of husbands and wives. We find that the ?added-worker effect??the greater propensity of nonparticipating wives to enter the labor force when their husbands exit employment?is still important among a subset of couples, but that the overall value of marriage as a risk-sharing arrangement has diminished because of the greater positive co-movement of employment within couples. While positive assortative matching on education did increase over time, this shift in the composition of couple types alone cannot account ...
Why has home ownership fallen among the young?
We document that home ownership of households with "heads" aged 25 - 44 years fell substantially between 1980 and 2000 and recovered only partially during the 2001-2005 housing boom. The 1980-2000 decline in young home ownership occurred as improvements in mortgage opportunities made it easier to purchase a home. This paper uses an equilibrium life-cycle model calibrated to micro and macro evidence to understand why young home ownership fell over a period when it became easier to own a home. Our findings indicate that a trend toward marrying later and the increase in household earnings risk ...
Women's emancipation through education: a macroeconomic analysis
In this paper, we study the role of education as insurance against a bad marriage. Historically, due to disparities in earning power and education across genders, married women often found themselves in an economically vulnerable position, and had to suffer one of two fates in a bad marriage: either they get divorced (assuming it is available) and struggle as low-income single mothers, or they remain trapped in the marriage. In both cases, education can provide a route to emancipation for women. To investigate this idea, we build and estimate an equilibrium search model with education, ...
While we tend to think of whom and when we marry as an individual decision, social and economic forces play a major role.
Fertility Shocks and Equilibrium Marriage-Rate Dynamics
Why did the marriage probability of single females in France after World War 1 rise 50% above its pre-war average, despite a 33% drop in the male/female singles ratio? We conjecture that war-time disruption of the marriage market generated an abnormal abundance of men with relatively high marriage propensities. Our model of matching over the lifecycle, when calibrated to pre-war data and two war-time shocks, succeeds in matching the French time path under the additional assumption of a pro-natalist post-war preference shock. We conclude that endogeneity issues make the sex ratio a potentially ...