Re-Thinking the Two-Body Problem: The Segregation of Women into Geographically Dispersed Occupations
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
September 9, 2011
Family research cites the tendency for couples to relocate for husbands’ careers as evidence household economic decisions are not gender-neutral. I find the tendency for households to relocate for husbands’ careers is better-explained by the segregation of women into geographically ubiquitous occupations in advance of marriage rather than by the direct prioritization of men’s careers. While most two-earner families feature husbands in geographically clustered occupations involving frequent relocation for work, families are no-less-likely to relocate for work when it belongs to the wife. I conclude future research on household mobility should treat occupational sex segregation occurring prior to marriage, rather than bias for one sex within married couples, as the primary explanation for the prioritization of husbands’ careers in household mobility decisions.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40
Keywords: Household Mobility, Job Search, Occupational Segregationworking papers series
Date posted: September 12, 2011 ; Last revised: September 12, 2012
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