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31. Januar 2024

Cluster-Seminar Öffentliche Finanzen und Lebenslagen

The Persistence of Employment Gaps in Couples: To what extent do relative female-to-male wage opportunities matter?


31. Januar 2024
11:00 bis 12:00 Uhr


Karl Popper Room
DIW Berlin
Room 2.3.020
Mohrenstr. 58
10117 Berlin


Luisa Hammer

Gender gaps in employment have narrowed but remain substantial, especially within couples. When I proxy potential earnings through demand-driven wage changes in job tasks within industries and using German administrative data, I show that a rising relative female-to-male potential wage increases work hours of female partners, but at a diminishing rate. Men, on the other hand, reduce their work hours, but only at low levels of the relative wage. In sum, this means that the within-couple gap in work hours widens significantly as the earnings prospects of women relative to men improve. I then discuss potential drivers for these puzzling results and focus on economic incentives of Becker’s household model, comparative advantages and gender identity norms.


Mia Teschner
Mia Teschner

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin in der Abteilung Staat