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Maids' Services as a Substitute Factor in Home-Production

Listed author(s):
  • Ana Claudia Polato e Fava
  • Mary Arends-Kuenning

While maid's services are considered luxury goods in developed countries, that is not always the case in developing countries. Economists believe that the reason for that is the availability of cheap unskilled labor supply in developing countries. However, few attention has been given to the scarcity of durable goods used in home-production in developing countries households. The same durable goods that are considered necessity on developed countries. This paper investigates the role of women's bar- gaining power, women's shadow price of time, and family composition in deciding on expenditures in production durable goods and maid's services. The test of bargaining power indicates that the expenditure on home-production factors is an outcome of a bargaining process. Households in which the wife has higher schooling than husband, the relative probability of having maid's services is higher. The results of the di erence of husbands' and wives' education are consistent with the intrahousehold time allocation, where wives that have comparative advantage in market work are more likely to substitute market goods for home-production. Wives that do not have comparative advantage in market work specialize in home- production, demanding more time-saving durable goods. There is no evidence of parental preferences for sons or daughters. However, there is evidence that daughters' time substitutes wives's time and maid's services in home-production.

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Paper provided by Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade de Ribeirão Preto in its series Working Papers with number 08_10.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
Handle: RePEc:fea:wpaper:08_10
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  1. Patricia Cortés & José Tessada, 2011. "Low-Skilled Immigration and the Labor Supply of Highly Skilled Women," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 88-123, July.
  2. Browning, Martin & Francois Bourguignon & Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Valerie Lechene, 1994. "Income and Outcomes: A Structural Model of Intrahousehold Allocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1067-1096, December.
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