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Engines of Liberation

Jeremy Greenwood, Ananth Seshadri () and Mehmet Yorukoglu ()

Review of Economic Studies, 2005, vol. 72, issue 1, 109-133

Abstract: Electricity was born at the dawn of the last century. Households were inundated with a flood of new consumer durables. What was the impact of this consumer durable goods revolution? It is argued here that the consumer goods revolution was conducive to liberating women from the home. To analyse this hypothesis, a Beckerian model of household production is developed. Households must decide whether or not to adopt the new technologies, and whether a married woman should work. Can such a model help to explain the rise in married female labour-force participation that occurred in the last century? Yes. Copyright 2005, Wiley-Blackwell.

Date: 2005
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