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Creating Low-Skilled Jobs by Subsidising Market-Contracted Household Work

  • Brück, Tilman
  • Haisken-DeNew, John P
  • Zimmermann, Klaus F

We analyse the determinants of household work contracted in the German shadow economy. The German socio-economic household panel, which enumerates casual domestic employment, is used to estimate the demand for such household work. The regressors include regional wage rates, household income and several control variables for household composition. We find that the demand for household work in the shadow economy is very income elastic. This suggests that targeted wage subsidies, linked to household work agencies, would be very effective in raising the legal demand for domestic help. A wage subsidy of 50% of wage costs could thus establish up to 500,000 new jobs for previously unemployed or non-working low skilled workers. The net fiscal costs of such a scheme are about 6.200 euro per full-time job. In addition, society benefits from more law enforcement and from an increased female labour supply, especially of highly qualified mothers.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4225.

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Date of creation: Feb 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4225
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  1. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1980. "Life-Cycle Labor Supply and Fertility: Causal Inferences from Household Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 328-48, April.
  2. Hersch, Joni & Stratton, Leslie S, 1994. "Housework, Wages, and the Division of Housework Time for Employed Spouses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 120-25, May.
  3. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  4. Reuben Gronau & R. Layard, . "Home Production - A Survey," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 85-2, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  5. Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix & Claude Montmarquette, 1997. "Are Underground Workers More Likely To Be Underground Consumers?," CIRANO Working Papers 97s-28, CIRANO.
  6. Jürgen Schupp, 2001. "Private Haushalte als Arbeitsgeber bleiben beschäftigungspolitisch von geringer Bedeutung: "Hausmädchenprivileg" überflüssig," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 68(13), pages 201-210.
  7. Suen, Wing, 1994. "Market-procured housework: The demand for domestic servants and female labor supply," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 289-302, September.
  8. Namkee Ahn & Sara La De Rica, 1997. "The underground economy in Spain: an alternative to unemployment?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(6), pages 733-743.
  9. Karsten Hank & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2000. "Does the availability of childcare influence the employment of mothers? Findings from western Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2000-003, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  10. Annette Mummert & Friedrich Schneider, 2001. "The German Shadow Economy: Parted in a United Germany?," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 58(3), pages 286-, July.
  11. Tilman Brück & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2002. "Förderung von Agenturen für haushaltsnahe Dienstleistungen schafft Arbeitsplätze für Geringqualifizierte," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 69(23), pages 363-369.
  12. Hilmar Schneider & Wolfram Kempe, 2002. "Lohnabstandsgebot kein hinreichendes Kriterium für positive Arbeitsanreize im Niedriglohnbereich," Wirtschaft im Wandel, Halle Institute for Economic Research, vol. 8(4), pages 85-91.
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