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Engines of Liberation

Electricity was born at the dawn of the last century. Households were inundated with a flood of new consumer durable goods. What was the impact of this consumer durable goods revolution? It is argued here that the consumer goods revolution liberated women from the home. To analyze this hypothesis, a Beckerian model of household production is developed. Households must decide whether to adopt the new technologies or not, and whether married woman should work. Can such a model explain the rise in married female labor-force participation that occurred in the last century? Yes.

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Paper provided by Economie d'Avant Garde in its series Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports with number 2.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eag:rereps:2
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  1. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1995. "The Gender Gap, Fertility and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 1997. "Capital-skill complementarity and inequality: a macroeconomic analysis," Staff Report 239, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 1989. "Transitional Dynamics and Economic Growth in the Neoclassical Model," NBER Working Papers 3185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1990. "Current real business cycle theories and aggregate labor market fluctuations," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 24, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Ellen McGrattan & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 1995. "An equilibrium model of the business cycle with household production and fiscal policy," Staff Report 191, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1993. "Working in the Market, Working at Home, and the Acquisition of Skills: A General-Equilibrium Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 893-907, September.
  7. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," NBER Working Papers 7732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Robert J. Gordon, 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord90-1, July.
  9. Raquel Fernandez & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2002. "Marrying Your Mom: Preference Transmission and Women's Labor and Education Choices," NBER Working Papers 9234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Malthus to Solow," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1205-1217, September.
  11. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1998. "The Origins Of Technology-Skill Complementarity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 693-732, August.
  12. Dora L. Costa, 2000. "From Mill Town to Board Room: The Rise of Women's Paid Labor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 101-122, Fall.
  13. Paul Gomme & Finn Kydland & Peter Rupert, 2000. "Home production meets time-to-build," Working Paper 0007R, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  14. Kristin Roberts & Peter Rupert, 1995. "The myth of the overworked American," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Jan.
  15. Caselli, Francesco & Coleman II, Wilbur John, 1999. "How Regions Converge," CEPR Discussion Papers 2191, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Jess Benhabib & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 1991. "Homework in macroeconomics: household production and aggregate fluctuations," Staff Report 135, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  17. repec:ucp:bknber:9780226304557 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Stephen L. Parente & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 2000. "Homework in Development Economics: Household Production and the Wealth of Nations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 680-687, August.
  19. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709.
  20. Chang, Yongsung & Schorfheide, Frank, 2003. "Labor-supply shifts and economic fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 1751-1768, November.
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