Stephanie Hurder, Business Economics PhD
Thesis Co-chairs: Claudia Goldin and Alvin Roth
An Integrated Model of Occupation Choice, Spouse Choice, and Family Labor Supply
I present an integrated model of occupation choice, spouse choice, family labor supply, and fertility that unifies an extensive empirical literature on career and family and provides predictions on the relationship among career, family, and marriage market outcomes. Two key assumptions of the model are that occupations differ both in wages and in an amenity termed flexibility, and that children require parental time that has no market substitute. Occupations with high costs of flexibility, modeled as a nonlinearity in wages, have a lower fraction of women, less positive assortative mating on earnings, and lower fertility among dual-career couples. Costly flexibility may induce high-earning couples to share home production, which rewards agents who are simultaneously high-earning and productive in child care. Empirical evidence is consistent with two main theoretical predictions: dual-career couples in more flexible occupations are more likely to have children, and professional women who achieve "career and family" in inflexible occupations are more likely to be married to men less educated than themselves.