Same-Occupation Spouses: Preferences and Search Costs

33 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2014

See all articles by Hani Mansour

Hani Mansour

University of Colorado at Denver - Department of Economics

Terra McKinnish

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics

Abstract

Married individuals match with spouses who share their occupation more frequently than predicted by chance, suggesting either a preference for same-occupation matches or lower search costs within occupation. To distinguish between these explanations, we use a differences-in-differences strategy that compares the difference in wages between same-occupation husbands and different-occupation husbands across occupations with different percent male workers. Under the preferences mechanism, the difference should be decreasing in percent male. Under the search cost mechanism, the difference should be increasing in percent male. Our results are consistent with the search cost explanation, especially in occupations with greater degree of workplace communication.

Keywords: marital sorting, occupation, sex ratio, search frictions

JEL Classification: J12, J24

Suggested Citation

Mansour, Hani and McKinnish, Terra, Same-Occupation Spouses: Preferences and Search Costs. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8370. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2481559

Hani Mansour (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Denver - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus Box 181
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80218
United States

Terra McKinnish

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus Box 256
Boulder, CO 80309-0256
United States

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