The job-search problem of couples differs in significant ways from that of singles. We characterize the reservation wage strategies of a couple that perfectly pools income to understand the ramifications of joint search for individual labor market outcomes. Two cases are analyzed. First, when couples are risk averse and pool income, joint search yields new opportunities relative to single-agent search. Second, when spouses receive job offers from multiple locations and incur a cost when living apart, joint search features new frictions and can lead to worse outcomes than single-agent search.
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The authors would like to thank seminar participants at various seminars and conferences. Chris Huckfeldt and Cloe Ortiz de Mendivil provided excellent research assistance. Guvenen acknowledges financial support from the NSF under grant number SES-0351001 .