Mette Foged publishes in Labour Economics – Københavns Universitet

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10. oktober 2016

Mette Foged publishes in Labour Economics

Labour Economics has published Mette's paper Family migration and Relative Earnings Potentials. Mette explains:

"Female labor force participation rates have risen in most developed countries since the 1960s and dual-earner households have become the norm. Economic rationality prescribes that the dual-earner households consider the earnings potentials of both partners in migration decisions whereas single-earner households naturally follow the earnings prospects of the breadwinner. The early studies of the 1970s and the 1980s document that working wives inhibit the mobility of families, consistent with the idea that job opportunities of both partners matter. Many studies using education or occupation as a measure of the potential return to migration have, however, found substantial asymmetries with respect to partners' characteristics in family migration equations, thereby inferring asymmetric weigthing by gender in families' location decisions."

Social costs (embarrassment) associated with the husband earning less than the wife or traditional gender role beliefs within the couple could make couples value an additional dollar brought in by the man more than an additional dollar brought in by the woman. Mette's paper provides a micro-economic model of families' location decisions incorporating the possibility that families discount women's private returns.

Here follows an abstract of the paper:

A unitarian model of family migration in which families may discount wives' private gains is used to derive testable predictions regarding the type of couples that select into migrating. The empirical tests show that gender neutral family migration cannot be rejected against the alternative of husband centered migration. Couples are more likely to migrate if household earnings potential is disproportionally due to one partner, and families react equally strongly to a male and a female relative advantage in educational earnings potential. These results are driven by households with a strong relative advantage to one of the partners while results are less clear for small dissimilarities within the couple, suggesting that gender identity norms may play a role when the opportunity costs of adhering to them are small.

Read also about Mette's research in her latest working paper.