Thursday, June 28, 2012

Spouses and unemployment duration

When unemployed, some people search more intensely for a new job than others. That will of course depend on their personal circumstances. The urgency of getting some income is obviously more pressing when there is little alternative income, and one such alternative is the spouse.

Stefania Marcassa studies French couples where one spouse works and the other is unemployed. It turns out unemployed men search longer for a job if their spouse earns less, while it is reversed for unemployed women. That turns out to be consistent, in a standard labor search model, with a breadwinner stigma for men. French men do not seems to be able to bear the thought of having a successful wife while being unemployed, while women see no hurry to work if their husband is doing well. Clearly, the sexist ones here are the men.

No comments: