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Why are Married Men Working So Much? An Aggregate Analysis of Intra-Household Bargaining and Labour Supply

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  • John A. Knowles

Abstract

Are macro-economists mistaken in ignoring bargaining between spouses? This article argues that models of intra-household allocation could be useful for understanding aggregate labour supply trends in the U.S. since the 1970s. A simple calculation suggests that the standard model without bargaining predicts a 19% decline in married-male labour supply in response to the narrowing of the gender gap in wages since the 1970s. However married-men's paid labour remained stationary over the period from the mid 1970s to the recession of 2001. This article develops and calibrates to U.S. time-use survey data a model of marital bargaining in which time allocations are determined jointly with equilibrium marriage and divorce rates. The results suggest that bargaining effects raised married-men's labour supply by about 2.1 weekly hours over the period, and reduced that of married women by 2.7 hours. Bargaining therefore has a relatively small impact on aggregate labour supply, but is critical for trends in female labour supply. Also, the narrowing of the gender wage gap is found to account for a weekly 1.5 hour increase in aggregate labour supply. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • John A. Knowles, 2013. "Why are Married Men Working So Much? An Aggregate Analysis of Intra-Household Bargaining and Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 1055-1085.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:80:y:2013:i:3:p:1055-1085
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/restud/rds043
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Doepke, M. & Tertilt, M., 2016. "Families in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    2. repec:red:issued:17-49 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:oup:restud:v:85:y:2018:i:3:p:1543-1576. is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Christian Siegel, 2017. "Female Relative Wages, Household Specialization and Fertility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 24, pages 152-174, March.
    5. Richard Rogerson & Johanna Wallenius, 2018. "Household Time Use Among Older Couples: Evidence and Implications for Labor Supply," 2018 Meeting Papers 90, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Bick, Alexander & Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola, 2012. "Taxation and Labor Supply of Married Women across Countries: A Macroeconomic Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 9115, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Emanuela Cardia & Paul Gomme, 2018. "Market Work, Housework and Childcare: A Time Use Approach," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 29, pages 1-14, July.
    8. John Kennes & John Knowles, 2015. "Liberalization of Birth Control and the Unmarried Share of Births. Evidence from Single Mothers in the Marriage Market," Economics Working Papers 2015-25, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    9. Fabio Cerina & Alessio Moro & Michelle Petersen Rendall, 2016. "The Role of Gender in Employment Polarization," Discussion Papers 1704, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM), revised Jan 2017.
    10. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2017. "Family Economics Writ Large," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1346-1434, December.
    11. Alexander Bick & Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln, 2018. "Taxation and Labour Supply of Married Couples across Countries: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(3), pages 1543-1576.
    12. repec:kea:keappr:ker-20180101-34-1-05 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Michelle Rendall, 2018. "Female Market Work, Tax Regimes, and the Rise of the Service Sector," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 269-289, April.
    14. Fatih Guvenen & Michelle Rendall, 2015. "Women's Emancipation through Education: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(4), pages 931-956, October.
    15. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1126-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Raquel Fernández & Joyce C. Wong, 2014. "Divorce Risk, Wages, and Working Wives: A Quantitative Life-Cycle Analysis of Female Labor Force Participation," NBER Working Papers 19869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. repec:eee:reecon:v:71:y:2017:i:3:p:521-539 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Peter Benczur & Zsombor Cseres-Gergely & Peter Harasztosi, 2017. "EU-wide income inequality in the era of the Great Recession," Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market 1713, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    19. Michelle Rendall, 2018. "Female Market Work, Tax Regimes, and the Rise of the Service Sector," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 269-289, April.
    20. Myong, Sunha & Park, JungJae & Yi, Junjian, 2018. "Social Norms and Fertility," IZA Discussion Papers 11744, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    21. Laura Turner & Aloysius Siow & Gueorgui Kambourov, 2014. "Relationship Skills in the Labor and Marriage Markets," 2014 Meeting Papers 155, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    22. Alexander Bick & Bettina Brueggemann & Hannah Paule-Paludkiewicz & Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln, 2018. "Long-term Changes in Married Couples' Labor Supply and Taxes: Evidence from the US and Europe Since the 1980s," 2018 Meeting Papers 759, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    23. Santos, Cezar & Weiss, David, 2014. "“Why Not Settle Down Already?” A Quantitative Analysis of the Delay in Marriage," Foerder Institute for Economic Research Working Papers 275796, Tel-Aviv University > Foerder Institute for Economic Research.
    24. Christian vom Lehn & Eric Fisher & Aspen Gorry, 2018. "Male Labor Supply and Generational Fiscal Policy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 121-149, April.

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