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Participation of Married Women in the Labour Market and the 'Added Worker Effect' in Europe

  • Prieto-Rodríguez, Juan

    (Universidad de Oviedo, Spain)

  • Rodríguez-Gutiérrez, César

    (Universidad de Oviedo, Spain)

In this paper, we estimate labour participation equations for married women for eleven European countries, using data from the European Community Household Panel corresponding to the years 1994, 1995 and 1996. The main objective of our study is to test whether the 'added worker effect' holds. From our results it can be concluded that the labour market participation of the married woman basically depends on her personal and family characteristics, her non-wage income and her potential earnings. In only a few countries does the participation of married women seem to be related to the work status of the husband. However, the consistently significant and negative effect of the woman's non-wage income (basically the husband's wage) prevents the 'added worker effect' from being completely rejected as a hypothesis. It seems, therefore, that female labour market participation continues to have a 'secondary' role in the family sphere in some European countries.

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Paper provided by IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD in its series IRISS Working Paper Series with number 2000-12.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Socio-Economics, 2003, vol. 32, pp. 423-446
Handle: RePEc:irs:iriswp:2000-12
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  1. Dex, Shirley, et al, 1995. "Cross-National Comparisons of the Labour Force Participation of Women Married to Unemployed Men," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(4), pages 611-35, October.
  2. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Juan Prieto-Rodriguez & Cesar Rodriguez-Gutierrez, 2000. "The added worker effect in the Spanish case," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(15), pages 1917-1925.
  4. Maloney, Tim, 1991. "Unobserved Variables and the Elusive Added Worker Effect," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(230), pages 173-87, May.
  5. Giannelli, Gianna & Micklewright, John, 1995. "Why Do Women Married to Unemployed Men Have Low Participation Rates?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(4), pages 471-86, November.
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