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Gender, Time Use, and Public Policy over the Life Cycle

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  • Patricia Apps
  • Ray Rees

Abstract

In this paper we compare gender differences in the allocation of time to market work, domestic work, child care, and leisure over the life cycle. Time-use profiles for these activity categories are constructed on survey data for three countries: Australia, the UK, and Germany. We discuss the extent to which gender differences and life-cycle variation in time use can be explained by public policy, focusing on the tax treatment of the female partner and on access to high-quality, affordable child care. Profiles of time use, earnings, and taxes are compared over the life cycle defined on age as well as on phases that represent the key transitions in the life cycle of a typical household. Our contention is that, given the decision to have children, life-cycle time use and consumption decisions of households are determined by them and by public policy. Before children arrive, the adult members of the household have high labour supplies and plenty of leisure. The presence of pre-school children, in combination with the tax treatment of the second earner's income and the cost of bought-in child care, dramatically change the pattern of time use, leading to large falls in female labour supply. We also highlight the fact that, in the three countries we study, female labour supply exhibits a very high degree of heterogeneity after the arrival of children, and we show that this has important implications for public policy. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 21 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (Autumn)
Pages: 439-461

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:21:y:2005:i:3:p:439-461

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References

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  1. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1996. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Discussion Papers 96-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  2. Patricia Apps, 2002. "Why an Earned income tax credit program is a mistake for Australia," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 5(4), pages 549-568, December.
  3. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244, September.
  4. Apps, Patricia & Rees, Ray, 2001. "Household Saving and Full Consumption over the Life Cycle," IZA Discussion Papers 280, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Blundell, Richard & Browning, Martin & Meghir, Costas, 1994. "Consumer Demand and the Life-Cycle Allocation of Household Expenditures," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 57-80, January.
  6. Tomas Kögel, 2004. "Did the association between fertility and female employment within OECD countries really change its sign?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 45-65, February.
  7. Kathryn Shaw, 1994. "The Persistence of Female Labor Supply: Empirical Evidence and Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 348-378.
  8. Florence Jaumotte, 2003. "Female Labour Force Participation: Past Trends and Main Determinants in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 376, OECD Publishing.
  9. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley, 2000. "The Life Cycle Model of Consumption and Saving," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 28, McMaster University.
  10. Boskin, Michael J. & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1983. "Optimal tax treatment of the family: Married couples," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 281-297, April.
  11. Orazio Attanasio & Hamish Low & Virginia Sanchez-Marcos, 2008. "Explaining Changes in Female Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1517-52, September.
  12. Henriette Engelhardt & Alexia Prskawetz, 2002. "On the changing correlation between fertility and female employment over space and time," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-052, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  13. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-87, June.
  14. John Pencavel, 1998. "The Market Work Behavior and Wages of Women: 1975-94," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 771-804.
  15. 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.
  16. Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2010. "Fertility, Female Labor Supply and Public Policy," Working Papers id:2754, eSocialSciences.
  17. Apps, P.F. & Rees, R., 1998. "On the Taxation of Trade Within and Between Households," Papers 337, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Hans Bloemen & Elena Stancanelli, 2008. "Modelling employment and wage outcomes of spouses: is she outearning him?," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2008-01, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  2. Patricia Apps, 2007. "Taxation And Labour Supply," CEPR Discussion Papers 560, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  3. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & Canuto, Otaviano & da Silva, Luiz Pereira, 2010. "On gender and growth : the role of intergenerational health externalities and women's occupational constraints," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5492, The World Bank.
  4. Elena Stancanelli & Hans Bloemen, 2008. "Modelling the employment and wage outcomes of spouses: Is she outearning him?," Sciences Po publications 2008-01, Sciences Po.
  5. Patricia Apps & Ray Rees & Margi Wood, 2007. "Population Ageing, Taxation, Pensions and Health Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 564, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  6. Christian Schmitt, 2012. "Labour market integration, occupational uncertainty, and fertility choices in Germany and the UK," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 26(12), pages 253-292, April.
  7. Patricia Apps, 2006. "The New Discrimination and Childcare," CEPR Discussion Papers 541, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  8. Anzelika Zaiceva & Klaus Zimmermann, 2011. "Do ethnic minorities “stretch” their time? UK household evidence on multitasking," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 181-206, June.
  9. Bick, Alexander, 2010. "The quantitative role of child care for female labor force participation and fertility," MPRA Paper 25474, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Anzelika Zaiceva & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2010. "Do Ethnic Minorities "Stretch" Their Time?: Evidence from the UK Time Use Survey," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 999, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Anzelika Zaiceva & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2007. "Children, Kitchen, Church: Does Ethnicity Matter?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 727, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  12. José Ignacio Gimenez-Nadal & José Alberto Molina & Raquel Ortega, 2010. "Unemployment and Time Use: Evidence from the Spanish Time Use Survey," Documentos de Trabajo dt2010-02, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Zaragoza.
  13. World Bank, 2007. "Chile - County Gender Assessment : Expanding Women's Work Choices to Enhance Chile's Economic Potential," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7639, The World Bank.
  14. Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2007. "Household Models: An Historical Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 2172, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. Elena Stancanelli, 2007. "Marriage and Work: an analysis for French couples in the last decade," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2007-10, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).

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