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Women's Labor Force Participation and Status Exchange in Intermarriage: A Model and Evidence for Hawaii 1

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Women's labor force participation, ethnic status and interracial marriage are examined in this paper to test Grossbard-Shechtman's marriage market theory. Perceived racial and ethnic group status is found to be an important attribute in marriage market exchange that combines marriage and working outside the home. Caucasian women, who have a higher perceived ethnic status, tend not to work when they marry men of a lower perceived ethnic status, while the opposite is found of women who have a lower perceived group status and who marry into a higher-status group. This is especially of women with low education, while highly educated women are less affected by compensating differentials at marriage as related to ethnic status of the couple. Ethnic groups that have a recent immigration history also have a different pattern of intermarriage and women's labor force participation. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

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