This paper examines the effect of the female-to-male wage ratio, “relative wage,” on women's spouse quality, marriage, and labor supply over three decades. Exploiting task-based demand shifts as a shock to relative pay, I find that a higher relative wage (a) increases the quality of women's mates, as measured by higher spousal education; (b) reduces marriage without substitution to cohabitation; and (c) raises women's hours of work. These effects are consistent with a model in which a higher relative wage increases the minimum nonpecuniary benefits (“quality”) women require from a spouse and therefore reduce marriage among low-quality husbands.

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