In "U.S. Labor Market Challenges Over the Longer Term," labor economist David Autor shows that the fraction of young adults who are currently married plummeted, dropping by 30% to 70% depending on gender, education and race/ethnicity (paper prepared for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, 2010). At the same time, women's labor earnings have steadily increased. An interesting and provocative new working paper, "Gender Identity and Relative Income Within Households", by Marianne Bertrand, Emir Kamenica and Jessica Pan (working paper, November 2012), tries to determine how these two trends are related. One of the things Bertrand, Kamenica and Pan focus in on is whether traditional gender identity, which they define as having an aversion to a wife earning more than a husband, is related to a host of variables, including marriage formation.

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