'Acting Wife': Marriage Market Incentives and Labor Market Investments
AbstractDo single women avoid career-enhancing actions because these actions signal undesirable traits, like ambition, to the marriage market? While married and unmarried female MBA students perform similarly when their performance is unobserved by classmates (on exams and problem sets), unmarried women have lower participation grades. In a field experiment, single female students reported lower desired salaries and willingness to travel and work long hours on a real-stakes placement questionnaire when they expected their classmates to see their preferences. Other groups' responses were unaffected by peer observability. A second experiment indicates the effects are driven by observability by single male peers.
CitationBursztyn, Leonardo, Thomas Fujiwara, and Amanda Pallais. 2017. "'Acting Wife': Marriage Market Incentives and Labor Market Investments." American Economic Review, 107 (11): 3288-3319. DOI: 10.1257/aer.20170029
- C93 Field Experiments
- D82 Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- J12 Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure; Domestic Abuse
- J16 Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
- J31 Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials