Employment Decisions of Married Women: Evidence and Explanations
Aggregate evidence has revealed a significant increase in women’s labour market participation (especially among married women) and a decline in male participation, both in Italy and in all the other OECD countries. In this paper, we empirically test the relationship between the education and employment status of husbands and wives using the Bank of Italy Survey (1995). The results of our analysis show that employed women are likely to be married to employed men with a higher level of education and higher income. The estimates of the labour supply decisions of wives show that the effect of the unemployment status of husbands is mediated by other factors associated with the family’s view of women working outside home. The response to a husband’s unemployment depends significantly on the employment decisions of parents (mothers and mothers-in-law), a proxy for the couple’s attitude towards women’s work.
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