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Wage Inequality and Family Labor Supply

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  • Chinhui Juhn
  • Kevin M. Murphy

Abstract

Using data from the March CPS and the 1960 Census, this paper describes earnings and employment changes for married couples in different types of households stratified by the husband's hourly wage. While the declines in male employment and earnings have been greatest for low wage men, employment and earnings gains have been largest for wives of middle and high wage men. These findings cast doubt on the notion that married women have increased their labor supply in the recent decades to compensate for the disappointing earnings growth of their husbands. We conclude that own wage effects dominate cross effects between husband and wife in accounting for changes in male and female employment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5459.

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Date of creation: Feb 1996
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Publication status: published as Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 15 (January 1997): 72-97.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5459

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  1. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
  2. Mroz, Thomas A, 1987. "The Sensitivity of an Empirical Model of Married Women's Hours of Work to Economic and Statistical Assumptions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 765-99, July.
  3. Juhn, Chinhui, 1992. "Decline of Male Labor Market Participation: The Role of Declining Market Opportunities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 79-121, February.
  4. Pencavel, John, 1987. "Labor supply of men: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-102 Elsevier.
  5. Goldin, Claudia, 1989. "Life-Cycle Labor-Force Participation of Married Women: Historical Evidence and Implications," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 20-47, January.
  6. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  7. Smith, James P & Ward, Michael, 1989. "Women in the Labor Market and in the Family," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 9-23, Winter.
  8. James P. Smith, 2004. "Assets and Labor Supply," Labor and Demography, EconWPA 0404003, EconWPA.
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