The marriage unemployment gap

Sekyu Choi 1 , 2  and Arnau Valladares-Esteban 2
  • 1 University of Bristol, 0B10 The Priory Road Complex, Priory Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1TU, United Kingdom
  • 2 Division of Economics, School of Social Sciences, SO17 1BJ, Southampton, United Kingdom
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
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and Arnau Valladares-Esteban
  • Corresponding author
  • Division of Economics, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom
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Abstract

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.

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