Differences in Labor Market Behavior among Married and Cohabiting Individuals across Gender: An Analysis of European Union Countries

Alicia Adsera, Princeton University

Cohabitation is more widespread in Europe than in the US, particularly in Nordic countries. I use the European Community Household Panel Survey 1994-2001 to analyze whether there are gender differences in the marriage and union income premium and in labor market attachment of cohabitants with respect to married individuals across the European Union countries. In most previous research married men earn more than single men, while married women earn less than single women. Whether the differences arise from selection or from more specialization has been long debated. Are those cohabiting more like married or more like single individuals? The expectation of a shorter commitment may deter specialization and reduce gender differences among unions as opposed to marriages. Preliminary results show that married men still earn more than their counterparts but cohabiting women earn the most. I will also use fixed effects to study within-person variation from changes in marital status across gender.

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Presented in Poster Session 1