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Gender, Time Use and Public Policy over the Life Cycle

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  • Apps, Patricia

    ()
    (University of Sydney)

  • Rees, Ray

    ()
    (University of Munich)

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1855.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 2005, 21(3), 439-461
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1855

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Keywords: time allocation; labour supply; household taxation; life cycle; gender;

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References

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  1. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley, 2001. "The lifecycle model of consumption and saving," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W01/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Apps, P.F. & Rees, R., 1998. "On the Taxation of Trade Within and Between Households," Papers, Australian National University - Department of Economics 337, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
  3. Michael J. Boskin & Eytan Sheshinski, 1979. "Optimal Tax Treatment of the Family: Married Couples," NBER Working Papers 0368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. 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, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 5(4), pages 549-568, December.
  6. Oded Galor & David N. Weil, 1993. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 4550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Tomas Kögel, 2001. "Did the association between fertility and female employment within OECD countries really change its sign?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-034, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  8. 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).
  9. Apps, Patricia & Rees, Ray, 2001. "Fertility, Female Labor Supply and Public Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 409, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Virginia Sanchez-Marcos & Orazio Attanasio & Hamish Low, 2004. "Explaining Changes in Female Labour Supply in a Life-Cycle Model," 2004 Meeting Papers 492, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1995. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-02, McMaster University.
  12. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244, October.
  13. 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.
  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. Richard Blundell & Martin Browning & Costas Meghir, 1993. "Consumer demand and the life-cycle allocation of household expenditures," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W93/11, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  16. 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.
  17. Florence Jaumotte, 2003. "Female Labour Force Participation: Past Trends and Main Determinants in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 376, OECD Publishing.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hans Bloemen & Elena Stancanelli, 2008. "Modelling the employment and wage outcomes of spouses: is she outearning him?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/9665, Sciences Po.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Zaiceva, Anzelika & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2010. "Do Ethnic Minorities "Stretch" Their Time? Evidence from the UK Time Use Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 4910, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Hans Bloemen & Elena Stancanelli, 2008. "Modelling employment and wage outcomes of spouses: is she outearning him?," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE) 2008-01, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  6. Bick, Alexander, 2010. "The quantitative role of child care for female labor force participation and fertility," MPRA Paper 25474, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Zaiceva, Anzelika & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2007. "Children, Kitchen, Church: Does Ethnicity Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 3070, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. 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.
  9. Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2007. "Population Ageing, Taxation, pensions and Health Costs," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 10(2), pages 79-97, June.
  10. Schmitt, Christian, 2012. "Labour Market Integration, Occupational Uncertainty, and Fertility Choices in Germany and the UK," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 253-292.
  11. Patricia Apps, 2006. "The New Discrimination and Childcare," CEPR Discussion Papers 541, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  12. Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2007. "Household Models: An Historical Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 2172, CESifo Group Munich.
  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. Elena Stancanelli, 2007. "Marriage and Work: an analysis for French couples in the last decade," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE) 2007-10, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  15. Patricia Apps, 2007. "Taxation And Labour Supply," CEPR Discussion Papers 560, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.

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