A Marriage-Market Perspective on Risk-Taking and Career Choices: Theory and Evidence
51 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2017 Last revised: 18 Aug 2020
Date Written: August 17, 2020
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: Suggested Citation