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The Effect of Household Appliances on Female Labor Force Participation: Evidence from Micro Data

  • Steven Lugauer

    (University of Pittsburgh)

  • Alexis Leon

    (Carnegie Mellon University)

  • Daniele Coen-Pirani

    (Carnegie Mellon University)

We estimate the effect of household appliance ownership on the labor force participation rate of married women using micro-level data from the 1960 and 1970 U.S. Censuses. In order to identify the causal effect of home appliance ownership on married women's labor force participation rates, our empirical strategy exploits both time-series and cross-sectional variation in these two variables. To control for endogeneity, we instrument a married woman's ownership of an appliance by the average ownership rate for that appliance among single women living in the same U.S. state. Single women's labor force participation rates did not increase between 1960 and 1970. We find evidence in support of the hypothesis that the diffusion of household appliances contributed to the increase in married women's labor force participation rates during the 1960's.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2008 Meeting Papers with number 541.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed008:541
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Fax: 1-314-444-8731
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
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  1. Tiago V. de V. Cavalcanti & José Tavares, 2008. "Assessing the "Engines of Liberation": Home Appliances and Female Labor Force Participation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 81-88, February.
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