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The labor supply of married women: why does it differ across U.S. cities?

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Author Info

  • Dan Black
  • Natalia Kolesnikova
  • Lowell J. Taylor

Abstract

Using Census Public Use Micro Sample (PUMS) data for 1980, 1990 and 2000, this paper documents a little-noticed feature of U.S. labor markets that there is wide variation in the labor market participation rates and annual work hours of white married women across urban areas. This variation is also large among sub-groups, including women with children and those with different levels of education. Among the explanations for this variation one emerges as particularly important: married women's labor force participation decisions appear to be very responsive to commuting times. There is a strong empirical evidence demonstrating that labor force participation rates of married women are negatively correlated with commuting time. What is more, the analysis shows that metropolitan areas which experienced relatively large increases in average commuting time between 1980 and 2000 also had slower growth of labor force participation of married women. This feature of local labor markets may have important implications for policy and for further research.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2007-043.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2007-043

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Keywords: Women - Employment ; Labor market;

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References

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  1. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "The Economic Consequences Of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons From Europe," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 285-317, February.
  2. Richard Freeman & Ronald Schettkat, 2002. "Marketization of Production and the US-Europe Employment Gap," CEP Discussion Papers dp0559, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  4. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  5. Eissa, Nada & Liebman, Jeffrey B, 1996. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 605-37, May.
  6. David Card & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux, 1999. "Changes in the Relative Structure of Wages and Employment: A Comparison of the United States, Canada, and France," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 843-877, August.
  7. John Odland & Mark Ellis, 1998. "Variations in the Labour Force Experience of Women Across Large Metropolitan Areas in the United States," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 333-347.
  8. John C. Ham & Kevin T. Reilly, 2002. "Testing Intertemporal Substitution, Implicit Contracts, and Hours Restriction Models of the Labor Market Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 905-927, September.
  9. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-85, December.
  10. Jonah B. Gelbach, 2002. "Public Schooling for Young Children and Maternal Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 307-322, March.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Gender Bias in Commuting
    by ryan in The bellows on 2009-01-30 04:41:19
  2. Commuting is critical for female labor participation
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-01-29 15:30:00
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Cited by:
  1. Clifford Winston, 2013. "On the Performance of the U.S. Transportation System: Caution Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 773-824, September.
  2. Riccardo DiCecio & Kristie M. Engemann & Michael T. Owyang & Christopher H. Wheeler, 2008. "Changing trends in the labor force: a survey," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 47-62.

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  1. Economic Logic blog

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