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Job Displacement, Family Dynamics, and Spousal Labor Supply

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  • Martin Halla
  • Julia Schmieder
  • Andrea Weber

Abstract

We study the effectiveness of intrahousehold insurance among married couples when the husband loses his job due to a mass layoff or plant closure. Empirical results based on Austrian administrative data show that husbands suffer persistent employment and earnings losses, while wives' labor supply increases moderately due to extensive margin responses. Wives' earnings gains recover only a tiny fraction of the household income loss, and in the short-term, public transfers and taxes are a more important form of insurance. We show that the presence of children in the household is a crucial determinant of the wives' labor supply response.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Halla & Julia Schmieder & Andrea Weber, 2020. "Job Displacement, Family Dynamics, and Spousal Labor Supply," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 253-287, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:12:y:2020:i:4:p:253-87
    DOI: 10.1257/app.20180671
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    2. Bennett, Patrick & Ravetti, Chiara & Wong, Po Yin, 2021. "Losing in a boom: Long-term consequences of a local economic shock for female labour market outcomes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    3. Huebener, Mathias & Pape, Astrid & Spiess, C. Katharina, 2020. "Parental labour supply responses to the abolition of day care fees," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 510-543.
    4. Lluis, Stephanie & McCall, Brian, 2022. "Spousal labour supply adjustments to extended benefits weeks: Evidence from Canada," CLEF Working Paper Series 42, Canadian Labour Economics Forum (CLEF), University of Waterloo.
    5. Acabbi, Edoardo & Barcelo, Cristina & Bertheau, Antoine & Gulyas, Andreas & Lombardi, Stefano & Saggio, Raffaele, 2022. "The unequal consequences of job loss across countries," Working Paper Series 2022:10, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    6. Illing, Hannah & Schmieder, Johannes & Trenkle, Simon, 2021. "The Gender Gap in Earnings Losses after Job Displacement," CEPR Discussion Papers 16551, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Juliane Hennecke & Astrid Pape, 2020. "Suddenly a Stay-At-Home Dad? Short- and Long-term Consequences of Fathers’ Job Loss on Time Investment in the Household," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1112, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    8. Daniel Fackler & Eva Weigt, 2020. "Who Buffers Income Losses after Job Displacement? The Role of Alternative Income Sources, the Family, and the State," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 34(3), pages 239-276, September.
    9. Meekes, Jordy & Hassink, Wolter, 2020. "Fired and Pregnant: Gender Differences in Job Flexibility Outcomes after Job Loss," IZA Discussion Papers 13779, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Andreas Gulyas & Krzysztof Pytka, 2019. "Understanding the Sources of Earnings Losses After Job Displacement: A Machine-Learning Approach," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2019_131, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
    11. Guner, Nezih & Kulikova, Yuliya & Valladares-Esteban, Arnau, 2020. "Does the Added Worker Effect Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 12923, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Jonas Meier, 2020. "Multivariate Distribution Regression," Diskussionsschriften dp2023, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    13. Gathmann, Christina & Huttunen, Kristiina & Jernström, Laura & Sääksvuori, Lauri & Stitzing, Robin, 2020. "In Sickness and in Health: Job Displacement and Health Spillovers in Couples," IZA Discussion Papers 13329, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Jan Gromadzki, 2019. "The Added Worker Effect, Employment Contracts, and the Reasons for the Wife’s Inactivity," IBS Working Papers 02/2019, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
    15. Schøne, Pål & Strøm, Marte, 2021. "International labor market competition and wives’ labor supply responses," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    16. Schone, Pal & Strom, Marte, 2019. "International Labor Market Competition and Spousal Labor Supply Responses," IZA Discussion Papers 12857, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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