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Gender, added-worker effects, and the 2007–2009 recession: Looking within the household

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  • Martha Starr

Abstract

The U.S. recession of 2007–2009 saw unemployment rates for men rise by significantly more than those for women, resulting in the downturn’s characterization as a ‘mancession’. This paper uses data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reexamine gender-related dimensions of the 2007–2009 recession. Unlike most previous work, we analyze data that connects men’s and women’s employment status to that of their spouses. A difference-in-difference framework is used to characterize how labor-market outcomes for one spouse varied according to outcomes for the other. Results show that that employment rates of women whose husbands were non-employed rose significantly in the recession, while those for people in other situations held steady or fell—consistent with the view that women took on additional bread-winning responsibilities to make up for lost income. However, probabilities of non-participation did not rise by more for men with working wives than they did for other men, casting doubt on ideas that men in this situation made weaker efforts to return to work because they could count on their wives’ paychecks to support the household. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Martha Starr, 2014. "Gender, added-worker effects, and the 2007–2009 recession: Looking within the household," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 209-235, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:12:y:2014:i:2:p:209-235
    DOI: 10.1007/s11150-013-9181-1
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    Cited by:

    1. Tamar Khitarishvili, 2018. "Gender Pay Gaps in the Former Soviet Union: A Review of the Evidence," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_899, Levy Economics Institute.
    2. Sinem H. Ayhan, 2018. "Married women’s added worker effect during the 2008 economic crisis—The case of Turkey," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 767-790, September.
    3. Christian Dudel & Mikko Myrskylä, 2016. "Recent trends in US working life expectancy at age 50 by gender, education, and race/ethnicity and the impact of the Great Recession," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2016-006, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    4. Giannakopoulos, Nicholas, 2015. "The added worker effect of married women in Greece during the Great Depression," MPRA Paper 66298, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Sara Ayllón, 2019. "Job insecurity and fertility in Europe," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 1321-1347, December.
    6. Bredtmann, Julia & Otten, Sebastian & Rulff, Christian, 2014. "Husband's Unemployment and Wife's Labor Supply – The Added Worker Effect across Europe," Ruhr Economic Papers 484, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    7. Olivier Bargain & Laurine Martinoty, 2019. "Crisis at home: mancession-induced change in intrahousehold distribution," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(1), pages 277-308, January.
    8. Chiara Comolli & Fabrizio Bernardi, 2015. "The causal effect of the great recession on childlessness of white American women," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, December.
    9. Kovalenko, Tim & Töpfer, Marina, 2021. "Cyclical dynamics and the gender pay gap: A structural VAR approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 99(C).
    10. Marina Gorsuch, 2016. "Decomposing the increase in men’s time on childcare during the great recession," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 53-82, March.
    11. Massimo Baldini & Costanza Torricelli & Maria Cesira Urzì Brancati, 2018. "Family ties: Labor supply responses to cope with a household employment shock," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 809-832, September.
    12. Christian Dudel & Mikko Myrskylä, 2017. "Working Life Expectancy at Age 50 in the United States and the Impact of the Great Recession," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(6), pages 2101-2123, December.
    13. Mercè Sala-Rios & Teresa Torres-Solé & Mariona Farré-Perdiguer, 2018. "Immigrants’ employment and the business cycle in Spain: taking account of gender and origin," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 35(2), pages 463-490, August.
    14. Aleksandra Riedl & Florian Schoiswohl, 2015. "Is there an added worker effect? – European labor supply during the crisis," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 4, pages 71-88.
    15. Mary Eschelbach Hansen & Julie Routzahn, 2014. "Gender Differences in Attitudes Toward Debt and Financial Position: The Impact of the Great Recession," Working Papers 2014-10, American University, Department of Economics.
    16. Cynthia Bansak & Martha Starr, 2021. "Covid-19 shocks to education supply: how 200,000 U.S. households dealt with the sudden shift to distance learning," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 63-90, March.
    17. Irina B. Grafova & Alan C. Monheit & Rizie Kumar, 2020. "How do changes in income, employment and health insurance affect family mental health spending?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 239-263, March.
    18. Patrick Bauer & Lyudmyla Sonchak, 2017. "The effect of macroeconomic conditions on parental time with children: evidence from the American time use survey," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 905-924, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Recession; Gender; American Community Survey; Added-worker effect; D13; E32; J22; J12;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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