When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage Market Value of Young Men

27 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2018

See all articles by David H. Autor

David H. Autor

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

David Dorn

University of Zurich - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Gordon H. Hanson

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2018

Abstract

We exploit the gender-specific components of large-scale labor demand shocks stemming from rising international manufacturing competition to test how shifts in the relative economic stature of young men versus young women affected marriage, fertility and children’s living circumstances during 1990-2014. On average, trade shocks differentially reduce employment and earnings of young adult males. Consistent with Becker’s model of household specialization, shocks to male’s relative earnings reduce marriage and fertility. Consistent with prominent sociological accounts, these shocks heighten male idleness and premature mortality, and raise the share of mothers who are unwed and the share of children living in below-poverty, single-headed households.

Keywords: marriage market, fertility, mortality, household structure, single-parent families, trade flows, import competition, local labor markets

JEL Classification: F16, J12, J13, J21, J23

Suggested Citation

Autor, David H. and Dorn, David and Hanson, Gordon H., When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage Market Value of Young Men (April 2018). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 7010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3198484

David H. Autor

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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David Dorn (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Zürich
Switzerland

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

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Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Gordon H. Hanson

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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