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Culture and Household Decision Making: Balance of Power and Labor Supply Choices of US-born and Foreign-born Couples

  • Oreffice, Sonia

    ()

    (University of Surrey)

This study investigates how spouses' cultural backgrounds mediate the role of intra-household bargaining in the labor supply decisions of foreign-born and US-born couples, in a collective-household framework. Using data from the 2000 US Census, I show that the hours worked by US-born couples, and by those foreign-born coming from countries with gender roles similar to the US, are significantly related to common 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 these power factors with their labor supply decisions. This cultural asymmetry suggests that spousal attributes are assessed differently across couples within the US, and that how spouses make use of their outside opportunities and economic and institutional environment may depend on their ethnicities.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7997.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2014
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: Journal of Labor Research, 2014
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7997
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  1. Oreffice, Sonia, 2011. "Sexual orientation and household decision making.: Same-sex couples' balance of power and labor supply choices," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 145-158, April.
  2. Chiswick, Barry R. & Houseworth, Christina A., 2008. "Ethnic Intermarriage among Immigrants: Human Capital and Assortative Mating," IZA Discussion Papers 3740, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2012. "Fat spouses and hours of work: are body and Pareto weights correlated?," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-21, December.
  4. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Leslie S Stratton, 2008. "Institutions, Social Norms, and Bargaining Power: An Analysis of Individual Leisure Time in Couple Households," Working Papers 0806, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics.
  5. Paola Giuliano, 2007. "Living Arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 927-952, 09.
  6. Pierre-André Chiappori & Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix, 2001. "Marriage Market, Divorce Legislation and Household Labor Supply," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-16, CIRANO.
  7. Alessandra Fogli & Raquel Fernandez, 2009. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 146-77, January.
  8. 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.
  9. T. Paul Schultz, 1990. "Testing the Neoclassical Model of Family Labor Supply and Fertility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 599-634.
  10. Raquel Fernández, 2007. "Alfred Marshall Lecture Women, Work, and Culture," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 305-332, 04-05.
  11. Josh Angrist, 2002. "How Do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage And Labor Markets? Evidence From America'S Second Generation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 997-1038, August.
  12. Raquel Fernandez, 2007. "Women, Work, and Culture," NBER Working Papers 12888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli, 2006. "Fertility: The Role of Culture and Family Experience," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 552-561, 04-05.
  14. Browning, M. & Bourguignon, F. & Chiappori, P.A. & Lechene, V., 1992. "Incomes and Outcomes: A structural Model of Intra-Household Allocation," DELTA Working Papers 92-23, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  15. Thomas, D., 1989. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Papers 586, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  16. 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.
  17. Brighita Negrusa & Sonia Oreffice, 2010. "Quality Of Available Mates, Education, And Household Labor Supply," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(3), pages 558-574, 07.
  18. Furtado, Delia, 2006. "Human Capital and Interethnic Marriage Decisions," IZA Discussion Papers 1989, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak, 1996. "Bargaining and Distribution in Marriage," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 139-158, Fall.
  20. Marcos A. Rangel, 2006. "Alimony Rights and Intrahousehold Allocation of Resources: Evidence from Brazil," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(513), pages 627-658, 07.
  21. Fernández, Raquel, 2007. "Women, Work and Culture," CEPR Discussion Papers 6153, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Sonia Oreffice, 2007. "Did the legalization of abortion increase women’s household bargaining power? Evidence from labor supply," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 181-207, June.
  23. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Carroll, Christopher D & Rhee, Byung-Kun & Rhee, Changyong, 1994. "Are There Cultural Effects on Saving? Some Cross-Sectional Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 685-99, August.
  25. Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-46, October.
  26. Hani Mansour & Terra McKinnish, 2014. "Who Marries Differently Aged Spouses? Ability, Education, Occupation, Earnings, and Appearance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(3), pages 577-580, July.
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