The effects of remarriage on women’s labor supply
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Many studies have found that women decrease their labor supply upon marriage and increase their labor supply upon divorce. This paper examines whether that pattern varies depending on whether the marriage is a first or higher-order one using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for the years 1979 through 2001. The combination of a greater expected probability that a remarriage will end and the failure of household production to bring returns upon the end of a previous marriage may make women less likely to reduce their labor supply in second or higher marriages as compared to a first marriage. The results differ for the intensive and extensive margins of labor supply. With one exception, after controlling for background characteristics, the estimates imply that the probability of working is related to marriage in a similar manner regardless of whether the marriage is a first or a remarriage. In contrast, the estimates provide support for the possibility that decreases in hours of work upon marriage are smaller in second and higher marriages as compared to first marriages.
KeywordsMarriage Divorce Remarriage Labor supply
JEL ClassificationsJ12 J2
The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the policies of the BLS or the views of other BLS staff members. I thank Chuck Pierret, Donna Rothstein, Sabrina Pabilonia, and anonymous referees for helpful comments. All errors are my own.
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