A Theory of Dual Job Search and Sex-Based Occupational Clustering

Forthcoming at Industrial Relations.

50 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2011 Last revised: 11 Sep 2014

See all articles by Alan Benson

Alan Benson

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 23, 2011


I present a theory of couples’ job search whereby women sort into lower-paying geographically-dispersed occupations due to expectations of future spouses’ geographically-clustered occupations and (thereby) inability to relocate for work. Results confirm men segregate into geographically-clustered occupations, and that these occupations involve more-frequent early career relocations for both sexes. I also find that the minority of the men and women who depart from this equilibrium experience delayed marriage, higher divorce, and lower earnings. Results corroborate the theory’s implication that marriage and mobility expectations foment a self-fulfilling pattern of occupational segregation with individual departures deterred by earnings and marriage penalties.

Keywords: Human Capital, Occupational Choice, Marriage, Job Search, Earnings Differentials

JEL Classification: J12, J16, J21, J24, J31, J61

Suggested Citation

Benson, Alan, A Theory of Dual Job Search and Sex-Based Occupational Clustering (July 23, 2011). Forthcoming at Industrial Relations. , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1794296 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1794296

Alan Benson (Contact Author)

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