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Assortative Marriage and the Effects of Government Homecare Subsidy Programs on Gender Wage and Participation Inequality

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  • Bjerk, David
  • Han, Seungjin

Abstract

We develop a model of the labor market where firms incur an adjustment cost when one of their workers quits, and males and females form households assortatively by skill. We show how this environment can lead to an economy where females earn less and drop out more frequently than equally skilled males in equilibrium, even when males and females constitute ex-ante identical populations. We then examine how different government homecare subsidy schemes may affect such gender inequality in the labor market. We show that the effect of government homecare subsidy schemes on gender inequality depends crucially on the form in which the subsidy is given and to whom it is allocated.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Vancouver School of Economics in its series Microeconomics.ca working papers with number bjerk-05-11-21-10-55-45.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 21 Nov 2005
Date of revision: 06 Sep 2006
Handle: RePEc:ubc:pmicro:bjerk-05-11-21-10-55-45

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Web page: http://www.economics.ubc.ca/

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Keywords: Gender Inequality; Discrimination; Subsidized Childcare;

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References

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  1. Goldin, Claudia & Polachek, Solomon, 1987. "Residual Differences by Sex: Perspectives on the Gender Gap in Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 143-51, May.
  2. Gordon Cleveland & Morley Gunderson & Douglas Hyatt, 1996. "Child Care Costs and the Employment Decision of Women: Canadian Evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(1), pages 132-51, February.
  3. Lommerud, K.E. & Vagstad, S., 2000. "Mommy Tracks and Public Policy: On Self-Fulfilling Prophecies and Gender Gaps in Promotion," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 0600, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
  4. O'Neill, June & Polachek, Solomon, 1993. "Why the Gender Gap in Wages Narrowed in the 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 205-28, January.
  5. Coate, S. & Loury, G.C., 1992. "Will Affirmative Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," Papers 3, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  6. Wood, Robert G & Corcoran, Mary E & Courant, Paul N, 1993. "Pay Differences among the Highly Paid: The Male-Female Earnings Gap in Lawyers' Salaries," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 417-41, July.
  7. Francois, Patrick, 1998. "Gender discrimination without gender difference: theory and policy responses," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 1-32, April.
  8. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-49, June.
  9. Marjorie B. McElroy, 1990. "The Empirical Content of Nash-Bargained Household Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 559-583.
  10. Catherine Weinberger & Peter Kuhn, 2006. "The Narrowing of the U.S. Gender Earnings Gap, 1959-1999: A Cohort-Based Analysis," NBER Working Papers 12115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Walter Y. Oi, 1962. "Labor as a Quasi-Fixed Factor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 538.
  12. Zhenchao Qian, 1998. "Changes in assortative mating: The impact of age and education, 1970–1890," Demography, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 279-292, August.
  13. Engineer, Merwan & Welling, Linda, 1999. "Human capital, true love, and gender roles: is sex destiny?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 155-178, October.
  14. Mary Corcoran & Greg J. Duncan, 1979. "Work History, Labor Force Attachment, and Earnings Differences between the Races and Sexes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(1), pages 3-20.
  15. Becker, Gary S, 1985. "Human Capital, Effort, and the Sexual Division of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages S33-58, January.
  16. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective Labor Supply and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 437-67, June.
  17. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Pamela Campa & Alessandra Casarico & Paola Profeta, 2009. "Gender Culture and Gender Gap in Employment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2738, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Kjell Erik Lommerud & Odd Rune Straume & Steinar Vagstad, 2013. "Mommy tracks and public policy: On self-fulfilling prophecies and gender gaps in promotion," NIPE Working Papers 5/2013, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  3. Bjerk, David, 2009. "Beauty vs. earnings: Gender differences in earnings and priorities over spousal characteristics in a matching model," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 248-259, March.

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