Marriage Dynamics, Earnings Dynamics, and Lifetime Family Income

135 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2021 Last revised: 6 Feb 2022

See all articles by Joseph G. Altonji

Joseph G. Altonji

Yale University - Economic Growth Center; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Disa Hynsjo

Yale University

Ivan Vidangos

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Date Written: January 2021

Abstract

We examine what determines the family income that men and women experience over their adult lives. To this end, we estimate a dynamic model of earnings, nonlabor income, fertility, marriage, and divorce. We use the model to address a number of important questions in labor and family economics, including the effects of education and unobserved permanent characteristics on marital status and on spouse characteristics conditional on marriage. We estimate the dynamic response of wage rates, work hours, earnings, marriage and spouse characteristics and family income to various shocks. Marital status has a much larger effect on family income for women than men, while labor market shocks to men are more important than shocks to women. Marital sorting plays a major role in the return to education and permanent wages, especially for women. We use the model to provide gender-specific estimates of the contribution of education, permanent wages, labor market shocks, spouse characteristics, and marital histories to the variance of family income at a given age and over a lifetime.

Institutional subscribers to the NBER working paper series, and residents of developing countries may download this paper without additional charge at www.nber.org.

Suggested Citation

Altonji, Joseph G. and Hynsjo, Disa and Vidangos, Ivan, Marriage Dynamics, Earnings Dynamics, and Lifetime Family Income (January 2021). NBER Working Paper No. w28400, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3776970

Joseph G. Altonji (Contact Author)

Yale University - Economic Growth Center ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, CT 06520-8269
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

Disa Hynsjo

Yale University

Ivan Vidangos

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System ( email )

20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
2
Abstract Views
154
PlumX Metrics