Chapter

Changes in the Labor Supply Behavior of Married Women: 1980–2000

Lawrence M. Kahn

in Gender, Inequality, and Wages

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199665853
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745805 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665853.003.0010

Series: IZA Prize in Labor Economics

Changes in the Labor Supply Behavior of Married Women: 1980–2000

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This chapter investigates married women's labour supply behaviour from 1980 to 2000. In the 1980s, their labour supply function for annual hours shifted sharply to the right, with little shift in the 1990s. This is the major reason for the more rapid growth of female labour supply observed in the 1980s, with an additional factor being that husbands' real wages fell slightly in the 1980s but rose in the 1990s. Moreover, a major new development was that, during both decades, there was a dramatic reduction in women's own wage elasticity. And women's labour supply also became less responsive to their husbands' wages. Between 1980 and 2000, women's own wage elasticity fell by 50 to 56 percent, while their cross wage elasticity fell by 38 to 47 percent in absolute value. These patterns hold up under virtually all alternative specifications.

Keywords: labour supply; married women; wages; gender

Chapter.  16412 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

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