Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics

Editor-in-Chief: Cavalcanti, Tiago / Kambourov, Gueorgui

Ed. by Abraham, Arpad / Carceles-Poveda , Eva / Debortoli, Davide / Lambertini, Luisa / Nimark, Kristoffer / Schwartzman, Felipe / Wang, Pengfei

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.378
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.462

CiteScore 2017: 0.62

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.553
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.605

See all formats and pricing
More options …

The marriage unemployment gap

Sekyu Choi
  • University of Bristol, Department of Economics, 0B10 The Priory Road Complex, Priory Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1TU, United Kingdom
  • Division of Economics, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Arnau Valladares-Esteban
  • Corresponding author
  • Division of Economics, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-06-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejm-2016-0060


In this paper we document that married individuals face a lower unemployment rate than their single counterparts. We refer to this phenomenon as the marriage unemployment gap. Despite dramatic demographic changes in the labor market over the last decades, this gap has been remarkably stable both for men and women. Using a flow-decomposition exercise, we assess which transition probabilities (across labor force states) are behind this phenomenon: For men, the main driver is the higher job losing probabilities faced by single workers. For females, the participation margin also plays a crucial role.

Keywords: households; marriage; unemployment; worker flows

JEL Classification: E24; J12; J64


  • Abowd, J. M., and A. Zellner. 1985. “Estimating Gross Labor-Force Flows.” Journal of Business & Economic Statistics 3 (3): 254–283.Google Scholar

  • Albrecht, J., A. Anderson, and S. Vroman. 2010. “Search by Committee.” Journal of Economic Theory 145 (4): 1386–1407.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Angrist, J. D 1998. “Estimating the Labor Market Impact of Voluntary Military Service Using Social Security Data on Military Applicants.” Econometrica 66 (2): 249–288.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Antonovics, K., and R. Town. 2004. “Are All the Good Men Married? Uncovering the Sources of the Marital Wage Premium.” American Economic Review 94 (2): 317–321.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Attanasio, O., H. Low, and V. Sánchez Marcos. 2008. “Explaining Changes in Female Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Model.” American Economic Review 98 (4): 1517–1542.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Choi, S., A. Janiak, and B. Villena-Roldan. 2015. “Unemployment, Participation and Worker Flows Over the Life-Cycle.” The Economic Journal 125 (589): 1705–1733.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Darby, M. R., J. C. Haltiwanger, and M. W. Plant. 1986. “The Ins and Outs of Unemployment: The Ins Win.” National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc. NBER Working Papers 1997.Google Scholar

  • Ek, S., and B. Holmlund. 2010. “Family Job Search, Wage Bargaining, and Optimal Unemployment Insurance.” The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy 10 (1): 47.Google Scholar

  • Elsby, M. W., B. Hobijn, and A. Sahin. 2015. “On the importance of the Participation Margin for Labor Market Fluctuations.” Journal of Monetary Economics 72: 64–82.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Greenwood, J., and N. Guner. 2008. “Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households.” NBER Macroeconomics Annual 23: 231–276.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Greenwood, J., A. Seshadri, and M. Yorukoglu. 2005. “Engines Of Liberation.” Review of Economic Studies 72: 109–133.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Guler, B., F. Guvenen, and G. Violante. 2012. “Joint-Search Theory: New Opportunities and New Frictions.” Journal of Monetary Economics 54 (4): 352–369.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Poterba, J. M., and L. H. Summers. 1986. “Reporting Errors and Labor Market Dynamics.” Econometrica 54 (6): 1319–1338.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Shimer, R 2012. “Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment.” Review of Economic Dynamics 15 (2): 127–148.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Stevenson, B., and J. Wolfers. 2007. “Marriage and Divorce: Changes and Their Driving Forces.” Journal of Economic Persectives 21: 27–52.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2017-06-06

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, Volume 18, Issue 1, 20160060, ISSN (Online) 1935-1690, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejm-2016-0060.

Export Citation

©2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in