Cyclicality of Hours Worked by Married Women and Spousal Insurance
CAEPR WORKING PAPER No. 2017-009
39 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2017
Date Written: August 21, 2017
I document that married women’s hours worked are significantly less cyclical than hours worked by married men and singles and argue that spousal insurance contributes to the low cyclicality. Analyzing volatility, transition rates, and household behavior, I show that (i) married women experience the lowest cyclical volatility; (ii) their volatility depends more on past than current fluctuations of business cycle indicators; (iii) married women are less likely to become unemployed or leave the labor force during recessions, but not more likely to join the labor force; and (iv) unemployment of the husband is associated with more hours worked by the wife, particularly during recessions.
JEL Classification: D13, E32, J12, J22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation