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

Alan Benson

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

July 23, 2011

Forthcoming at Industrial Relations.

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.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 50

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

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

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Date posted: March 30, 2011 ; Last revised: September 11, 2014

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

Contact Information

Alan Benson (Contact Author)
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )
19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/amb263/
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )
77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States
HOME PAGE: http://web.mit.edu/alanmb/www/index.htm
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