A Matter of Weight? Hours of Work of Married Men and Women and Their Relative Physical AttractivenessThey estimated the elasticity of male labour supply with respect to the wife's weight.
We explore the role of relative physical attractiveness within the household on the labor supply decisions of husbands and wives. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we find that husbands who are heavier relative to their wives work more hours, while wives who are thinner relative to their husbands work fewer hours. We also find a 9% -elasticity of annual hours of work with respect to own BMI for married men, and a -7%- elasticity with respect to wife's BMI. For married women, we find an 8% -elasticity of annual hours of work with respect to own BMI, and a -6%- elasticity with respect to husband's BMI. While own BMI is positively related to own hours of work for married individuals, no statistically significant relatioship emerges for eigher unmarried men or unmarried women.
They estimated the elasticity of male labour supply with respect to the wife's weight. And vice versa.
Before you critique for confounds that could have been present, check the paper. Long story short: the more attractive spouse, where BMI proxies for attractiveness, gets to work fewer hours; the less attractive spouse has to work more hours. The effect is basically symmetric. If the husband is substantially less attractive than the wife, he works more hours; if the husband is substantially more attractive, she has to work more hours.
As I've suggested before, people are Lancasterian goods in the marriage market and outcomes within marriages are the result of Coasean bargains. Confirmatory evidence? Oh yes.