Engines of Liberation
Economie d'avant garde Research Report No. 2
46 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2002
Date Written: October 2003
Electricity was born at the dawn of the last century. Households were inundated with a flood of new consumer durable goods. What was the impact of this consumer durable goods revolution? It is argued here that the consumer goods revolution liberated women from the home. To analyze this hypothesis, a Beckerian model of household production is developed. Households must decide whether to adopt the new technologies or not, and whether a married woman should work. Can such a model explain the rise in married female labor-force participation that occurred in the last century? Yes.
Keywords: The second industrial revolution, technology adoption, household production theory, female labor-force participation.
JEL Classification: E1, J2, N1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation