Sunday, August 7, 2022

Jobs and spouses in Denmark

 Matching is both consequential and difficult: it is how we sort into jobs and careers, and marriages and families.  Here's a paper that looks at the relationship between those two matching markets, taking advantage of the fact that Danish medical grads get random priorities, which determine their early-career job matches.

Causal Effects of Early Career Sorting on Labor and Marriage Market Choices: A Foundation for Gender Disparities and Norms  by Itzik Fadlon, Frederik Plesner Lyngse & Torben Heien Nielsen, NBER WORKING PAPER 28245, DOI 10.3386/w28245 ISSUE DATE December 2020, REVISION DATE July 2022

Abstract: "We study whether and how early labor market choices determine longer-run career versus family outcomes differentially for male and female professionals. We analyze the physician labor market by exploiting a randomized lottery that determines the sorting of Danish physicians into internships across local labor markets. Using administrative data spanning ten years after physicians’ graduations, we find causal effects of early-career sorting on a range of life cycle outcomes that cascade from labor market choices, including human capital accumulation and occupational choice, to marriage market choices, including matching and fertility. The persistent effects are entirely concentrated among women, whereas men experience only temporary career disruptions. The evidence points to differential family-career tradeoffs and the mentorship employers provide as channels underlying this gender divergence. Our findings have implications for policies aimed at gender equality in outcomes, as they reveal how persistent gaps can arise even in institutionally gender-neutral settings with early-stage equality of opportunity."

"placement into medical internships—i.e., physicians’ first jobs—is governed in Denmark by a purely randomized lottery ... As we verify, students with the best lottery ranks,who are the ones that choose  first,are  effectively  unrestricted in their  choices  and  are assigned  their  highest priorities,whereas students with the worst lottery ranks,who are the ones that choose last and well after their choice sets have narrowed, are assigned their lowest priorities.


"we exploit a novel dataset that combines the formal lottery data we have digitized with a range of administrative datasets on all medical doctors in Denmark. ... we can link households using spousal and parent-child linkages to investigate family formation and fertility. Together, the data allow us to study a wide range of lifecycle choices, in both the labor market and the marriage market, which provides us with the unique advantage of conducting a comprehensive analysis on the broad potential causal effects of early careerson work versus family tradeoffs. The data allow us to track our sample over a long period of up to ten years after the treatment.


"We show that the women who have more children due to the treatment also invest less in human capital, and that their location decisions reflect family considerations as they show increased propensity to live near grandparents. This is consistent with women crowding out long-run career goals for more family-oriented choices as  a  result  of  unfavorable early-career placements.  In  comparison,  men engage in career-oriented actions in response to unfavorable placements,which help them fend off potential adverse effects. .... the data are strongly inconsistent with differential preferences  over  entry-level  positions as  a  channel. Males  and  females  reveal  very  similar  aggregate preferences in their choices over entry-level markets and positions.

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