Quality of Available Mates, Education, and Household Labor Supply
17 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2010
We investigate the impact of sex ratios by education and metropolitan area on spouses’ bargaining power and labor supplies, to capture the local and qualitative nature of mate availability. Using Current Population Survey and Census data for 2000, 1990, and 1980, we estimate these effects in a collective household framework. We find that a higher relative shortage of comparably educated women in the couple’s metropolitan area reduces wives’ labor supply and increases their husbands’. The impact is stronger for couples in higher education groups but not significant for high school graduates. Results are similar across decades. No such effects are found for unmarried individuals.
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