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The labor supply of married women: why does it differ across U.S. cities?

Author

Listed:
  • Dan A. Black
  • Natalia A. Kolesnikova
  • Lowell J. Taylor

Abstract

Using Census Public Use Micro Sample (PUMS) data for 1980, 1990 and 2000, this paper documents a little-noticed feature of U.S. labor markets that there is wide variation in the labor market participation rates and annual work hours of white married women across urban areas. This variation is also large among sub-groups, including women with children and those with different levels of education. Among the explanations for this variation one emerges as particularly important: married women's labor force participation decisions appear to be very responsive to commuting times. There is a strong empirical evidence demonstrating that labor force participation rates of married women are negatively correlated with commuting time. What is more, the analysis shows that metropolitan areas which experienced relatively large increases in average commuting time between 1980 and 2000 also had slower growth of labor force participation of married women. This feature of local labor markets may have important implications for policy and for further research.

Suggested Citation

  • Dan A. Black & Natalia A. Kolesnikova & Lowell J. Taylor, 2008. "The labor supply of married women: why does it differ across U.S. cities?," Working Papers 2007-043, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2007-043
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    File URL: http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2007/2007-043.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Gender Bias in Commuting
      by ryan in The bellows on 2009-01-30 10:41:19
    2. Commuting is critical for female labor participation
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-01-29 21:30:00

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    Cited by:

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    2. Matias Busso & Dario Romero Fonseca, 2015. "Female Labor Force Participation in Latin America: Patterns and Explanations," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0187, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    3. Manuel J. Carvajal & Patti Peeples & Ioana Popovici, 2019. "A Probe into the Wages and Salaries of Health Economics, Outcomes Research, and Market Access Professionals," Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Springer, vol. 17(5), pages 741-751, October.
    4. Asif Islam & Mohammad Amin, 2016. "Women Managers and The Gender-Based Gap in Access to Education: Evidence from Firm-Level Data in Developing Countries," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(3), pages 127-153, July.
    5. Riccardo DiCecio & Kristie M. Engemann & Michael T. Owyang & Christopher H. Wheeler, 2008. "Changing trends in the labor force: a survey," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 90(Jan), pages 47-62.

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    Keywords

    Women - Employment; Labor market;

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