Technology and the Changing Family: A Unified Model of Marriage, Divorce, Educational Attainment, and Married Female Labor-Force Participation

Recognition Program

Authors: Jeremy Greenwood, Nezih Guner, Georgi Kocharkov and Cezar Santos

American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, Vol. 8, No 1, 1-41, January, 2016

Marriage has declined since 1960, with the drop being more significant for noncollege-educated individuals versus college-educated ones. Divorce has increased, more so for the noncollege-educated. Additionally, positive assortative mating has risen. Income inequality among households has also widened. A unified model of marriage, divorce, educational attainment, and married female labor-force participation is developed and estimated to fit the postwar US data. Two underlying driving forces are considered: technological progress in the household sector and shifts in the wage structure. The analysis emphasizes the joint role that educational attainment, married female labor-force participation, and marital structure play in determining income inequality.

This paper originally appeared as Barcelona GSE Working Paper 808
This paper is acknowledged by the Barcelona GSE Research Recognition Program