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Household Responses to Individual Shocks: Disability and Labour Supply

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  • Gallipoli, Giovanni
  • Turner, Laura

Abstract

What are idiosyncratic shocks and how do people respond to them? This paper starts from the observation that idiosyncratic shocks are experienced at the individual level, but responses to shocks can encompass the whole household. Understanding and accurately modeling these responses is essential to the analysis of intra-household allocations, especially labour supply. Using longitudinal data from the Canadian Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID) we exploit information about disability and health status to develop a life-cycle framework which rationalizes observed responses of household members to idiosyncratic shocks. Two puzzling findings associated to disability onset motivate our work: (1) the almost complete absence of ‘added worker’ effects within households and, (2) the fact that single agents’ labour supply responses to disability shocks are larger and more persistent than those of married agents. We show that a first-pass, basic model of the household has predictions about dynamic labour supply responses which are at odds with these facts; despite such failure, we argue that these facts are consistent with optimal household behaviour when we account for two simple mechanisms: the first mechanism relates to selection into and out of marriage, while the second hinges on insurance transfers taking place within households. We show that these mechanisms arise naturally when we allow for three features: a linkage between human capital accumulation and life-cycle labour supply, endogenous marriage contracts and the possibility of time transfers between partners. We also report evidence that the extended model with endogenous marriage contracts can fit divorce patterns observed in Canadian data, as well as correlations between disability prevalence and marital status, providing an ideal framework to study intra-household risk-sharing with limited commitment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Vancouver School of Economics in its series CLSSRN working papers with number clsrn_admin-2009-32.

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Length: 61 pages
Date of creation: 22 Jun 2009
Date of revision: 22 Jun 2009
Handle: RePEc:ubc:clssrn:clsrn_admin-2009-32

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Web page: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/

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Keywords: Idiosyncratic Risk; Disability; Household Behaviour; Marriage; Insurance;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Elena Capatina, 2012. "Life Cycle Effects of Health Risk," Working Papers 201216, ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales.
  2. Hamish Low & Luigi Pistaferri, 2010. "Disability Risk, Disability Insurance and Life Cycle Behavior," NBER Working Papers 15962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Giovanni L. Violante & Costas Meghir & Giovanni Gallipoli, 2008. "Equilibrium Effects of Education Policies: a Quantitative Evaluation," 2008 Meeting Papers 868, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Mankart, Jochen & Oikonomou, Rigas, 2012. "Household Search and the Aggregate Labor Market," Economics Working Paper Series 1225, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  5. Fatih Guvenen, 2011. "Macroeconomics With Heterogeneity: A Practical Guide," NBER Working Papers 17622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Brant Abbott & Giovanni Gallipoli & Costas Meghir & Giovanni L. Violante, 2013. "Education Policy and Intergenerational Transfers in Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 18782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. repec:fip:fedreq:y:2011:i:3q:p:255-326:n:vol.97no.3 is not listed on IDEAS

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