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Household Labor Supply and Home Services in a General-Equilibrium Model with Heterogeneous Agents

  • Christian Bredemeier

    ()

  • Falko Jüßen

We propose a new explanation for differences and changes in labor supply by gender and marital status, and in particular for the increase in married women’s labor supply over time.We argue that this increase as well as the relative constancy of other groups’ hours are optimal reactions to outsourcing labor in home production becoming more attractive to households over time.To investigate this hypothesis,we incorporate heterogeneous agents into a household model of labor supply and allow agents to trade home labor. This model can generate the observed patterns in US labor supply by gender and marital status as a reaction to declining frictions on the market for home services.We provide an accounting exercise to highlight the role of alternative explanations for the rise in hours in a model where home labor is tradable.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0091.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0091
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  10. Claudia Olivetti & Stefania Albanesi, 2007. "Gender And Dynamic Agency: Theory And Evidence On The Compensation Of Female Top Executives," 2007 Meeting Papers 894, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  14. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Implications of Rising Wage Inequality in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 681-722, 08.
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  16. Peters, H Elizabeth, 1986. "Marriage and Divorce: Informational Constraints and Private Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 437-54, June.
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  18. Orazio Attanasio & Hamish Low & Virginia Sanchez-Marcos, 2008. "Explaining Changes in Female Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1517-52, September.
  19. Knowles, John, 2007. "Why Are Married Men Working So Much? Home Production, Household Bargaining and Per-Capita Hours," IZA Discussion Papers 2909, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  23. David M. Blau & H. Naci Mocan, 2002. "The Supply Of Quality In Child Care Centers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 483-496, August.
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  25. Claudia Olivetti, 2005. "Changes in Women's Hours of Market Work: The Role of Returns to Experience," Boston University - Department of Economics - Macroeconomics Working Papers Series WP2005-008, Boston University - Department of Economics, revised Jun 2006.
  26. 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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