DRI Working Paper No. 75
By Shing-Yi Wang
Marriage Networks, Nepotism and Labor Market Outcomes in China
This paper considers the potential role of marriage in improving labor market outcomes through the expansion of an individuals' networks. I focus on the impact of a father-in-law on a young man's career using panel data from China. Particular features of the Chinese context allows for an identification strategy that isolates the network effects related to a man's father-in-law by comparing the post-marriage death of a father-in-law with the death of a mother-in-law. The estimates suggest that the loss of the father-in-law translates into a decrease in a man's earnings by 20%. Furthermore, the evidence indicates that the decline in wages can be attributed to nepotism rather than a decline in job information.