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Wo(men) at Work?: The Impact of Cohabiting and Married Partners' Earning on Women's Work Hours

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  • Doreen Triebe
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    Abstract

    This study investigates the determinants of women's labor supply in the household context. The main focus is on the effect of a change in male partner's wages on women's work hours. This is linked to the broader question of whether married and cohabiting women make different economic decisions and respond differently to changes in their partners' wages. In addition, this study seeks to connect the working behavior of married and cohabiting individuals to the "tax-splitting" benefit for married couples. To provide a complete picture of working behavior within households, I analyze both women and men using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) from 1993 to 2010. The methodology for the main analysis relies on fixed effects regression. The main estimation results suggest that married women work less on the labor market and further, an increase in partner's wages results in a negative and significant effect on married women's work hours. The maritalstatus of men, on the other hand, has no significant impact on their work hours.

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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.434127.de/diw_sp0614.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 614.

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    Length: 33 p.
    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp614

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    Keywords: Women's work hours; division of labor; cohabitation vs. marriage;

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    1. Puhani, Patrick A., 1995. "Labour supply of married women in Poland: a microeconometric study based on the Polish labour force survey," ZEW Discussion Papers 95-12, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin M. Murphy, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Family Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 5459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Raquel Fernandez, 2007. "Culture as Learning: The Evolution of Female Labor Force Participation over a Century," NBER Working Papers 13373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Julian P. Cristia, 2008. "The Effect of a First Child on Female Labor Supply: Evidence from Women Seeking Fertility Services," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(3), pages 487-510.
    5. René Morissette & Yuqian Lu & Feng Hou, 2012. "Marriage, cohabitation and women's response to changes in the male wage structure," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(19), pages 2499-2516, July.
    6. Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 116-21, May.
    7. Nicoletti, Cheti & Tanturri, Maria Letizia, 2005. "Differences in delaying motherhood across European countries: empirical evidence from the ECHP," ISER Working Paper Series 2005-04, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    8. Florence Jaumotte, 2003. "Labour Force Participation of Women: Empirical Evidence on The Role of Policy and Other Determinants in OECD Countries," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2003(2), pages 51-108.
    9. Effrosyni Adamopoulou, 2010. "Will you “quasi-marry” me? The rise of cohabitation and decline of marriages," Economics Working Papers we1026, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
    10. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2004. "Household Taxation, Income Splitting and Labor Supply Incentives: A Microsimulation Study for Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 421, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Becker, Gary S, 1985. "Human Capital, Effort, and the Sexual Division of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages S33-58, January.
    12. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
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