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Couples' Labour Supply Responses to Job Loss: Boom and Recession Compared

Author

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  • Bryan, Mark L.

    () (University of Essex)

  • Longhi, Simonetta

    () (University of Reading)

Abstract

We examine how couples' labour supply behaviour in the UK responds to a job loss by one partner, using the Labour Force Survey to compare the period of growth of 1995-2007 to the Great Recession and its aftermath of 2008-11. In single earner couples during the recession, both men and women substantially increased their job search activity following a partner's job loss, while the increase in search during the boom was smaller (and non-existent for men). However, the increase in job search during recession did not appear to translate into more success in finding work for either men or women. Among dual earner couples, we find little evidence that individuals searched for alternative jobs or tried to increase their hours if their partner lost their job, except that women working part-time were more likely to start looking for another job. Both men and women were more likely to quit their job voluntarily if their partner lost their job, but the recession seems to have made people more cautious about voluntarily quitting their job. We find little evidence that people react in advance of job losses, suggesting that unemployment typically comes as a surprise.

Suggested Citation

  • Bryan, Mark L. & Longhi, Simonetta, 2013. "Couples' Labour Supply Responses to Job Loss: Boom and Recession Compared," IZA Discussion Papers 7775, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7775
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    12. Orazio Attanasio & Hamish Low & Virginia Sánchez-Marcos, 2005. "Female Labor Supply As Insurance Against Idiosyncratic Risk," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 755-764, 04/05.
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    Cited by:

    1. Razzu, Giovanni & Singleton, Carl, 2016. "Gender and the business cycle: An analysis of labour markets in the US and UK," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 47(PB), pages 131-146.
    2. Bredtmann, Julia & Otten, Sebastian & Rulff, Christian, 2014. "Husband's Unemployment and Wife's Labor Supply – The Added Worker Effect across Europe," Ruhr Economic Papers 484, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    3. Daniel Schaefer & Carl Singleton, 2017. "Real Wages and Hours in the Great Recession: Evidence from Firms and their Entry-Level Jobs," CESifo Working Paper Series 6766, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Stefanie Hoherz, 2014. "Maternity Leave in the Context of Couples: The Impact of Both Partners' Characteristics and Employment Experiences on Mothers' Re-entry into the Labour Market," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 647, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    5. Giovanni Razzu & Carl Singleton, 2014. "Gender and the Business Cycle: A Stocks and Flows Analysis of US and UK Labour Market States," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2014-10, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    6. repec:zbw:rwirep:0484 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Giovanni Razzu & Carl Singleton, 2016. "Segregation and Gender Gaps through the UK’s Great Recession," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2015-02, Henley Business School, Reading University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    added-worker effect; recession; employment; household labour supply;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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