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The Second Paycheck to Keep Up with the Joneses: Relative Income Concerns and Labor Market Decisions of Married Women

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  • Yongjin Park

    ()
    (Economics Department, Connecticut College, 270 Mohegan Avenue, New London, CT 06320, USA.)

Abstract

This paper provides a simple model and an empirical test of the effect of interpersonal income comparisons on labor supply. By focusing on the relative income of a full-time working man and its effect on the wife’s labor supply decision, we examine the role of relative income in labor supply decisions while avoiding the endogeneity problem that plagues the relative income–labor supply connection. The results show that the relative income of husbands plays an important role in the labor supply decisions of married women. The effects are economically meaningful and robust across various measures of relative income and reference groups.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 36 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
Pages: 255-276

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Handle: RePEc:pal:easeco:v:36:y:2010:i:2:p:255-276

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Cited by:
  1. Akay, Alpaslan & Andersson, Lisa & Martinsson, Peter & Medhin, Haileselassie, 2014. "Positional Concerns among the Poor: Does Reference Group Matter? Evidence from Survey Experiments," IZA Discussion Papers 8215, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2013. "Keeping up with the Joneses: Income Comparisons and Labour Supply," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80033, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  3. Oh, Seung-Yun & Park, Yongjin & Bowles, Samuel, 2012. "Veblen effects, political representation, and the reduction in working time over the 20th century," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 218-242.
  4. Eduardo Pérez-Asenjo, 2011. "If happiness is relative, against whom do we compare ourselves? Implications for labour supply," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 1411-1442, October.

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