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Is there an added worker effect? – European labor supply during the crisis

Author

Listed:
  • Aleksandra Riedl

    () (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Foreign Research Division)

  • Florian Schoiswohl

    ()

Abstract

This paper analyzes the responsiveness of an individual’s labor supply to the job loss of his or her partner – the so-called “added worker effect (AWE).” While the bulk of empirical studies have utilized discrete choice models to identify its existence, we provide a macroeconomic indicator of the AWE in order to assess its economic significance for the labor force participation rate (LFPR). Our empirical analysis focuses on Europe in the period from 2002 to 2012, revealing that the AWE is negatively related to the business cycle and was particularly pronounced during the global financial crisis. While the LFPR increased by roughly 1 percentage point in Europe from 2009 to 2012, half of the effect is attributable to added workers. As our indicator is based on a rich micro dataset (European Labor Force Survey) we are also able to consistently present individual country results for nearly all EU Member States. Our analysis shows high increases in added workers in euro area countries that were strongly affected by financial market stress and in EU countries that experienced the bursting of housing bubbles. By contrast, we do not find an AWE in most Central and Eastern European countries.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbfi:y:2015:i:4:b:2
    as

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    File URL: https://www.oenb.at/dam/jcr:f86b7f4e-b012-429f-90c8-8150888e366c/feei_2015_q4_studies_riedl_schoiswohl.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Melvin Stephens, 2002. "Worker Displacement and the Added Worker Effect," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 504-537, July.
    2. Gilbert Ghez & Gary S. Becker, 1975. "The Allocation of Time and Goods over the Life Cycle," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ghez75-1.
    3. Gilbert Ghez & Gary S. Becker, 1975. "A Theory of the Allocation of Time and Goods Over the Life Cycle," NBER Chapters,in: The Allocation of Time and Goods over the Life Cycle, pages 1-45 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Laurine Martinoty, 2014. "Intra-Household Coping Mechanisms in Hard Times: the Added Worker Effect in the 2001 Argentine Economic Crisis," Post-Print halshs-01076566, HAL.
    5. 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.
    6. repec:zbw:rwirep:0484 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Richard Blundell & Pierre-André Chiappori & Costas Meghir, 2005. "Collective Labor Supply with Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1277-1306, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor force participation rate; unemployment; European countries;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J82 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Labor Force Composition

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