NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Patricia Cortés

Boston University

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

February 2016Social Norms, Labor Market Opportunities, and the Marriage Gap for Skilled Women
with Marianne Bertrand, Claudia Olivetti, Jessica Pan: w22015
In most of the developed world, skilled women marry at a lower rate than unskilled women. We document heterogeneity across countries in how the marriage gap for skilled women has evolved over time. As labor market opportunities for women have improved, the marriage gap has been growing in some countries but shrinking in others. We discuss a theoretical model in which the (negative) social attitudes towards working women might contribute towards the lower marriage rate of skilled women, and might also induce a non-linear relationship between their labor market prospects and their marriage outcomes. The model is suited to understand the dynamics of the marriage gap for skilled women over time within a country with set social attitudes towards working women. The model also delivers prediction...
 
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