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Why are Married Men Working So Much?

John Knowles ()

PIER Working Paper Archive from Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract: We document a negative trend in the leisure of men married to women aged 25-45, relative to that of their wives, and a positive trend in relative housework. Taken together, these trends rule out a popular class of labor supply models in which unitary households maximize the sum of the spouse’s utility. We develop a simple bargaining model of marriage, divorce and allocations of leisure-time and housework. According to the model, a rise in women’s relative wage will reduce husband’s leisure and marriage rates when the quality of single life is relatively high for women. Calibration to US data shows the trend in relative wages explains most of the trend in relative leisure and about a third of the trend in housework, while the simultaneous trend in home-durables prices explains the balance of the housework trend.

Keywords: General Aggregative Models; Neoclassical; Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure; Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination; Time Allocation; Work Behavior; Employment Determination and Creation; Human Capital; Time Allocation and Labor Supply (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E13 J12 J16 J20 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 42 pages
Date: 2005-11-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hrm and nep-lab
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (8) Track citations by RSS feed

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