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Women’s Jobs and Marriage: Baby-Boom versus Baby-Bust (Travail des Femmes et Mariage: du baby-boom au baby-bust)

Grossbard, Shoshana and Granger, Clive (1998): Women’s Jobs and Marriage: Baby-Boom versus Baby-Bust (Travail des Femmes et Mariage: du baby-boom au baby-bust). Published in: Population (French version) , Vol. 53, (September 1998): pp. 731-752.

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Abstract

Studies of the determinants of labor supply do no typically include characteristics of the marriage market. What inspired this paper is Shoshana Grossbard-Shechtman's economic theory of marriage which considers how marriage market forces influence individual value of time in marriage. From pioneering work by Louis Henry and others, we know that changes in cohort size influence marriage market conditions. Consequently, it is hypothesized that changes in cohort size influence the value of time of women in marriage. Given that most women are married or plan to marry, this analysis implies that women born at times of increases in the number of births will be more likely to participate in the labor force. This hypothesis was using US. time series data on women's labor force participation and a number of other variables known to have an impact on labor supply. It is found that rapid increases in women's labor force participation coincided with rapid growth of the population entering marriage markets and therefore the creation of marriage market imbalances favoring men. Such rapid growth in population characterized not only the post World War II so-called baby-boom, but also an earlier period of growth in births starting in the late 1930s. As for the slow growth in women's labor force participation observed in recent years, it has coincided with the coming of age of successive generations of shrinking size born during the baby­ bust.

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