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

41 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2014

See all articles by Daniele Coen-Pirani

Daniele Coen-Pirani

Carnegie Mellon University - David A. Tepper School of Business

Alexis Leon

University of Pittsburgh

Steven Lugauer

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 1, 2013

Abstract

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.

Keywords: female labor supply, household appliances, home production

JEL Classification: J22

Suggested Citation

Coen-Pirani, Daniele and Leon, Alexis and Lugauer, Steven, The Effect of Household Appliances on Female Labor Force Participation: Evidence from Micro Data (October 1, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2334362 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2334362

Daniele Coen-Pirani (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University - David A. Tepper School of Business ( email )

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

Alexis Leon

University of Pittsburgh ( email )

135 N Bellefield Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

Steven Lugauer

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics ( email )

Lexington, KY 40506
United States

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