Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Women Prefer Larger Governments: Female Labor Supply and Public Spending

Contents:

Author Info

  • Jose Tavares
  • Tiago Cavalcanti

Abstract

The increase in income per capita is accompanied, in virtually all countries, by two changes in the structure of the economy: an increase in the share of government spending in GDP and an increase in female labor force participation. This paper suggests that the changes in female labor force participation and government size are not just coincident in time, they are causally related. We develop a growth model with endogenous fertility, labor force participation and government size to illustrate this causal link. When gov- ernment consumption and/or subsidies decrease the cost of performing household chores - including, but not limited to child rearing and child care - an increase in the female market wage leads to an increase in labor force participation by women and a demand for higher government spending. As women make the decision to work outside the home, they increase their demand for services typically provided by the government, such as education and health care, which, in turn, decrease the cost of home and family activi- ties that are overwhelmingly performed by women. We show, for a wide cross-section of developed and developing countries, that higher female participation rates in the labor market are positively associated with larger governments. We investigate the causal link by instrumenting for female labor force participation with the prevalence of contraceptive methods and the relative price of household appliances. Female labor force participation is found to cause an increase in government size, with a 10 percent rise in the former leading to a 6.5 to 9 percent rise in the latter. This effect is stronger for government consumption than for government subsidies and is robust to the country sample, time period, and a set of controls in the spirit of Rodrik (1998)

Download Info

To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings with number 4.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:4

Contact details of provider:
Phone: 1 212 998 3820
Fax: 1 212 995 4487
Email:
Web page: http://www.econometricsociety.org/pastmeetings.asp
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Economic Development; Female Labor Supply; Government Size; Home Ac-;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," NBER Working Papers 5537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2000. "Mothers and Others: Who Invests in Children's Health?," NBER Working Papers 7691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Tanzi,Vito & Schuknecht,Ludger, 2000. "Public Spending in the 20th Century," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521662918, Fall.
  4. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri, 2004. "Technological Progress and Economic Transformation," NBER Working Papers 10765, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2005. "Engines of Liberation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 109-133.
  6. Jaisri Gangadharan & Joshua Rosenbloom & Joyce Jacobson & James Wishart Pearre III, 1996. "The Effects of Child-Bearing on Married Women's Labor Supply and Earnings: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 5647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1995. "The Gender Gap, Fertility and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Sam Peltzman, 1980. "The Growth of Government," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 1, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  9. 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.
  10. Claudia Goldin, 1990. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold90-1.
  11. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2002. "The baby boom and baby bust: some macroeconomics for population economics," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  12. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2002. "The Baby Boom and Baby Bust," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 1, Economie d'Avant Garde.
  13. Patricia M. Anderson & Phillip B. Levine, 1999. "Child Care and Mothers' Employment Decisions," JCPR Working Papers 64, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  14. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  15. A. Chevalier & T. K. Viitanen, 2002. "The causality between female labour force participation and the availability of childcare," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(14), pages 915-918.
  16. Sherwin Rosen, 1996. "Public Employment and the Welfare State in Sweden," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 729-740, June.
  17. Daron Acemoglu & David H. Autor & David Lyle, 2002. "Women, War and Wages: The Effect of Female Labor Supply on the Wage Structure at Mid-Century," NBER Working Papers 9013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. John R. Lott & Jr. & Lawrence W. Kenny, 1999. "Did Women's Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1163-1198, December.
  19. Husted, Thomas A & Kenny, Lawrence W, 1997. "The Effect of the Expansion of the Voting Franchise on the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 54-82, February.
  20. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Comportamento econômico das mulheres
    by Roberto Ushisima in Empresas e Mercados on 2009-09-08 18:06:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Tomas Kögel, 2006. "An explanation of the positive correlation between fertility and female employment across Western European countries," Discussion Paper Series 2006_11, Department of Economics, Loughborough University.
  2. Tiago V. de V. Cavalcanti & José Tavares, 2008. "Assessing the "Engines of Liberation": Home Appliances and Female Labor Force Participation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 81-88, February.
  3. Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre, 2005. "The Roots of Low European Employment: Family Culture?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5169, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Dalibor Eterovic & Cassandra Sweet, 2011. "How Women and Illiterates Shaped Education Outcomes in 20th Century Latin America," Working Papers wp_007, Adolfo Ibáñez University, School of Government.
  5. Aidt, T.S. & Eterovic, D.S., 2007. "Give and Take: Political Competition, Participation and Public Finance in 20th Century Latin America," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0714, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:4. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.