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Culture and household decision making: Native and foreign-born couples' balance of power and labor supply choices in the US

Author

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  • Sonia Oreffice

    (Universidad de Alicante)

Abstract

This study investigates how spouses’ cultural backgrounds mediate the role of intra-household bargaining in the labor supply decisions of foreign-born and US-native couples, in a collective-household framework. Using data from the 2000 US Census I show that the labor supplies of US-born couples, and of those foreign-born coming from countries with family institutions similar to the US, are significantly related to bargaining power forces such as differences between spouses in age, and non-labor income, controlling for both spouses’ demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. Households whose culture of origin supports strict and unequal gender roles do not exhibit any association of balance of power and their labor supply decisions. This cultural asymmetry suggests that spousal traits are assessed differently across couples within the US, and that how households make use of their outside opportunities and economic and institutional environment may depend on their ethnicities.

Suggested Citation

  • Sonia Oreffice, 2011. "Culture and household decision making: Native and foreign-born couples' balance of power and labor supply choices in the US," Working Papers. Serie AD 2011-18, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  • Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2011-18
    as

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    File URL: http://www.ivie.es/downloads/docs/wpasad/wpasad-2011-18.pdf
    File Function: Fisrt version / Primera version, 2011
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Antecol, Heather, 2000. "An examination of cross-country differences in the gender gap in labor force participation rates," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 409-426, July.
    2. Francine D Blau & Lawrence M Kahn & Kerry L Papps, 2011. "Gender, Source Country Characteristics, and Labor Market Assimilation among Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 43-58, February.
    3. Reggio, Iliana, 2011. "The influence of the mother's power on her child's labor in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 95-105, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Shuai & van Ours, Jan C., 2020. "Symbolism matters: The effect of same-sex marriage legalization on partnership stability," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 44-58.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Culture; Household bargaining power; Labor supply.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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