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What Difference a Wife Makes: The Effect of Women's Hours of Work on Husbands' Hourly Earnings



This paper investigates the relationship between a wife's work-hours decision and her husband's hourly earnings. It is found that, among men in Managerial and Other Manual occupations, having a working wife significantly reduces the husband's hourly wage rate. The findings are robust to various estimation techniques and imply for these cases that productivity or discrimination effects associated with a wife working 40 hours per week lead to a reduction in the husband's hourly earnings of around 15 per cent.