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Has the Increased Attachment of Women to the Labor Market Changed a Family's Ability to Smooth Income Shocks?

Author

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  • Olga Gorbachev

    () (Department of Economics, University of Delaware)

Abstract

An increase in a married woman's attachment to the labor market affected her family's ability to smooth unexpected income shocks. Between 1970 and 1990, the sharp rise in labor market attachment provided an increasingly important channel for smoothing shocks to spousal income. As the participation rate stabilized, this contribution to smoothing evened out. In the Great Recession, both spouses received negative income shocks, and access to transfer income became the main insurance mechanism. Volatility of consumption followed volatility of family income trends but at a lower magnitude. Families ability to weather income shocks didn't change during the 1970-2010 period.

Suggested Citation

  • Olga Gorbachev, 2016. "Has the Increased Attachment of Women to the Labor Market Changed a Family's Ability to Smooth Income Shocks?," Working Papers 16-03, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:dlw:wpaper:16-03
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    File URL: http://www.lerner.udel.edu/sites/default/files/ECON/PDFs/RePEc/dlw/WorkingPapers/2016/UDWP2016-03.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jason DeBacker & Bradley Heim & Vasia Panousi & Shanthi Ramnath & Ivan Vidangos, 2013. "Rising Inequality: Transitory or Persistent? New Evidence from a Panel of U.S. Tax Returns," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(1 (Spring), pages 67-142.
    2. Olga Gorbachev, 2011. "Did Household Consumption Become More Volatile?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2248-2270, August.
    3. Orazio Attanasio & Luigi Pistaferri, 2014. "Consumption Inequality over the Last Half Century: Some Evidence Using the New PSID Consumption Measure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 122-126, May.
    4. Dynan Karen & Elmendorf Douglas & Sichel Daniel, 2012. "The Evolution of Household Income Volatility," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-42, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gorbachev, Olga & Luengo-Prado, Maria Jose, 2016. "The credit card debt puzzle: the role of preferences, credit risk, and financial literacy," Working Papers 16-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    2. Kathrin Ellieroth, 2017. "Cyclicality of Hours Worked by Married Women and Spousal Insurance," Caepr Working Papers 2017-009 Classification-D, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    volatility; welfare; intra-household insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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