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Why Do So Few Women Work in New York (And So Many in Minneapolis)? Labor Supply of Married Women across U.S. Cities

FRB of St. Louis Working Paper No. 2007-043H

35 Pages Posted: 7 May 2008 Last revised: 15 Jun 2012

Dan Black

University of Chicago - Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies

Natalia Kolesnikova

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Lowell J. Taylor

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management

Date Written: March 1, 2012

Abstract

This paper documents a little-noticed feature of U.S. labor markets -- very large variation in the labor supply of married women across cities. We focus on cross-city differences in commuting times as a potential explanation for this variation. We start with a model in which commuting times introduce non-convexities into the budget set. Empirical evidence is consistent with the model's predictions: Labor force participation rates of married women are negatively correlated with the metropolitan area commuting time. Also, metropolitan areas with larger increases in average commuting time in 1980-2000 had slower growth in the labor force participation of married women.

Keywords: female labor supply, local labor markets, commuting time, non-convex budget sets

JEL Classification: J21, J22, R23, R41

Suggested Citation

Black, Dan and Kolesnikova, Natalia and Taylor, Lowell J., Why Do So Few Women Work in New York (And So Many in Minneapolis)? Labor Supply of Married Women across U.S. Cities (March 1, 2012). FRB of St. Louis Working Paper No. 2007-043H. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1129982 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1129982

Dan Black

University of Chicago - Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Natalia Kolesnikova (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis ( email )

411 Locust St
Saint Louis, MO 63011
United States

Lowell J. Taylor

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
412-268-3278 (Phone)
412-268-7036 (Fax)

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