A Marriage-Market Perspective on Risk-Taking and Career Choices: Theory and Evidence

51 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2017 Last revised: 18 Aug 2020

See all articles by Hanzhe Zhang

Hanzhe Zhang

Department of Economics, Michigan State University

Ben Zou

Michigan State University - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 17, 2020

Abstract

We investigate how the marriage market affects risk-taking and career choices in a general equilibrium framework. We show that women's relative inability to reap the benefits of a risky career due to their shorter reproductive span helps explain a set of observed gender differences in the labor market and marriage market outcomes. Our theory predicts that compared with men, women are less likely to choose a risky career when unmarried, have lower within-gender wage dispersion, marry earlier, and if they choose a risky career, are less likely to have children. We provide empirical evidence consistent with theoretical predictions.

Keywords: marriage market, risk-taking, occupational choices, differential fecundity, gender

JEL Classification: C78, D31, J12, J16

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Hanzhe and Zou, Ben, A Marriage-Market Perspective on Risk-Taking and Career Choices: Theory and Evidence (August 17, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3069013 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3069013

Hanzhe Zhang (Contact Author)

Department of Economics, Michigan State University ( email )

486 West Circle Drive
East Lansing, MI 48824
United States

HOME PAGE: http://hanzhezhang.github.io/

Ben Zou

Michigan State University - Department of Economics ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824
United States

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