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Dynamics of female labor force participation and welfare with multiple social reference groups

Mihaela Pintea ()

The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, 2020, vol. 20, issue 1, 23

Abstract: I develop a model with status concerns to analyze how different economic factors affect female labor participation and welfare, as well as average household incomes and wages. Reductions in the price of domestic goods and increases in female wages have positive effects on female participation. Increases in male wages have different effects on female participation depending on whether they affect female wages or not. Events that lead to increases in female participation are usually associated with decreases in the welfare of stay-at-home wives but are not necessarily associated with increases in welfare of working wives. Allowing for part-time work can lead to an increase in overall female labor force participation, but some women that would have worked full-time end up working part-time. If female wages are endogenous, an increase in male wages leads to an increase in the female participation rate even if it is not associated with a decrease in the gender wage gap. The positive feedback of increased female participation on their wages can lead to hysteresis of dual equilibria of high and low female labor force participation and a discontinuous transition between these equilibria.

Keywords: female labor force participation; gender wage gap; relative income (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D62 E24 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1515/bejm-2017-0230

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