We exploit the gender-specific components of large-scale labor demand shocks stemming from rising international manufacturing competition to test how shifts in the relative economic stature of young men versus young women affected marriage, fertility, and children's living circumstances during 1990–2014. On average, trade shocks differentially reduce employment and earnings of young adult males. Consistent with Becker's model of household specialization, shocks to males' relative earnings reduce marriage and fertility. Consistent with prominent sociological accounts, these shocks heighten male idleness and premature mortality, and raise the share of mothers who are unwed and the share of children living in below-poverty, single-headed households.
Autor, David, David Dorn, and Gordon Hanson. "When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage-Market Value of Men." American Economic Review: Insights 1.2 (April 2019): 161-178.