Marriage Market Signaling and Women’s Occupation Choice

81 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2022

See all articles by Danyang Zhang

Danyang Zhang

Purdue University, Krannert School of Management, Department of Economics, Students

Date Written: November 18, 2021

Abstract

Despite the general closure of gender disparities in the labor market over the past half century, occupational segregation has been stubbornly persistent. I develop a new model that explains these occupational outcomes through marriage market signaling. Vertically differentiated men have preference over women’s unobservable caregiving ability. Heterogenous women choose caregiving occupations to signal their ability to be caregivers. My model generates unique predictions on the influence of marriage market conditions on women’s occupational choices. I find empirical support for these predictions using longitudinal data on marriage rates, policy shocks to divorce laws, and shocks to the marriage market sex ratio driven by waves of immigration.

Keywords: Marriage, Women, Occupation Choice, Signaling

JEL Classification: D82, J12, J13, J16, J24

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Danyang, Marriage Market Signaling and Women’s Occupation Choice (November 18, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4057591 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4057591

Danyang Zhang (Contact Author)

Purdue University, Krannert School of Management, Department of Economics, Students ( email )

Purdue, IN
United States
7657726907 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://danyangzhang.com/

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