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Explaining Changes in Female Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Model

  • Orazio Attanasio
  • Hamish Low
  • Virginia Sanchez-Marcos

This paper studies the life-cycle labor supply of three cohorts of American women, born in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. We focus on the increase in labor supply of mothers between the 1940s and 1950s cohorts. We construct a lifecycle model of female participation and savings, and calibrate the model to match the behavior of the middle cohort. We investigate which changes in the determinants of labor supply account for the increases in participation early in the life-cycle observed for the youngest cohort. A combination of a reduction in the cost of children alongside a reduction in the wage-gender gap is needed. (JEL D91, J16, J22, J31)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.98.4.1517
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/sept08/20040372_data.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 98 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 1517-52

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:4:p:1517-52
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.4.1517
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  1. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri, 2004. "Technological Progress and Economic Transformation," NBER Working Papers 10765, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Pedro Mira & Namkee Ahn, 2002. "A note on the changing relationship between fertility and female employment rates in developed countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 667-682.
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  16. Eckstein, Zvi & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1989. "Dynamic Labour Force Participation of Married Women and Endogenous Work Experience," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 375-90, July.
  17. Browning, Martin & Meghir, Costas, 1991. "The Effects of Male and Female Labor Supply on Commodity Demands," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 925-51, July.
  18. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2001. "The Timing of Births: A Marriage Market Analysis," Penn CARESS Working Papers 49355d43c11f2314075e8b54e, Penn Economics Department.
  19. David M. Blau, 1992. "The Child Care Labor Market," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 9-39.
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