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Explaining Changes in Female Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Model

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Author Info

  • Orazio Attanasio
  • Hamish Low
  • Virginia Sanchez-Marcos

Abstract

This paper studies the life-cycle labor supply of three cohorts of American women, born in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. We focus on the increase in labor supply of mothers between the 1940s and 1950s cohorts. We construct a lifecycle model of female participation and savings, and calibrate the model to match the behavior of the middle cohort. We investigate which changes in the determinants of labor supply account for the increases in participation early in the life-cycle observed for the youngest cohort. A combination of a reduction in the cost of children alongside a reduction in the wage-gender gap is needed. (JEL D91, J16, J22, J31)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.98.4.1517
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 98 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 1517-52

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:4:p:1517-52

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.4.1517
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  1. Hotz, V Joseph & Miller, Robert A, 1988. "An Empirical Analysis of Life Cycle Fertility and Female Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 91-118, January.
  2. Ferrero Martínez, Dolores & Iza Padilla, María Amaya, 2003. "Skill premium effects on fertility and female labor force supply," DFAEII Working Papers 2002-15, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  3. Ahn, N. & Mira, P., 1999. "A Note on the Changing Relationship Between Fertility and Female Employment Rates in Developed Countries," Papers 9903, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
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  8. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 92-11, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  9. Juan Carlos Conesa, 2002. "Educational attainment and timing of fertility decisions," Working Papers in Economics 78, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  10. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1997. "The Career Decisions of Young Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 473-522, June.
  11. Eckstein, Zvi & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1989. "Dynamic Labour Force Participation of Married Women and Endogenous Work Experience," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 375-90, July.
  12. Claudia Olivetti, 2006. "Changes in Women's Hours of Market Work: The Role of Returns to Experience," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(4), pages 557-587, October.
  13. David M. Blau, 1992. "The Child Care Labor Market," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 9-39.
  14. Altug, Sumru & Miller, Robert A, 1998. "The Effect of Work Experience on Female Wages and Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 45-85, January.
  15. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S76-S108, Part II, .
  16. Browning, Martin & Meghir, Costas, 1991. "The Effects of Male and Female Labor Supply on Commodity Demands," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 925-51, July.
  17. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2001. "The Timing of Births: A Marriage Market Analysis," Penn CARESS Working Papers 49355d43c11f2314075e8b54e, Penn Economics Department.
  18. Jacob Mincer & Haim Ofek, 1982. "Interrupted Work Careers: Depreciation and Restoration of Human Capital," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(1), pages 3-24.
  19. van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 1996. "Female Labour Supply and Marital Status Decisions: A Life-Cycle Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 199-235, April.
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