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CEP discussion paper
Marriage as insurance: job protection and job insecurity in France
Andrew E. Clark, Conchita D'Ambrosio and Anthony Lepinteur
June 2021
Paper No' CEPDP1778:
Full Paper (pdf)

Tags: marriage; insurance; employment protection; perceived job security; difference-in-differences

Job insecurity is one of the risks that workers face on the labour market. As with any risk, individuals can choose to insure against it. We here consider marriage as a way of insuring against labour-market risk. The 1999 rise in the French Delalande tax, paid by large private firms when they laid off workers aged 50 or over, led to an exogenous rise in job insecurity for the uncovered (younger workers) in the affected firms. A difference-in-differences analysis using French panel data reveals that this greater job insecurity for the under-50s led to a significant rise in their probability of marriage, and especially when the partner had greater job security, consistent with marriage providing insurance against labour-market risk.