A Capable Wife: Couple’s Joint Decisions on Labor Supply and Family Chores

Published in Empirical Economics, 2017

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This study investigates how spousal employment status affects personal employment decisions and the division of family chores. We apply Bresnahan and Reiss (J Econom 48(1):57–81, 1991) empirical cooperative game model to estimate household aggregate preference for a dual-earner family, extending their model to identify the individual preferences of husbands and wives by using the share of family chores as an empirical proxy for individual indirect disutilities. Using data from Taiwan, we show that an average household in the sample does not prefer a dual-earner family. The estimates of individual preferences indicate that this aversion comes mainly from the husbands. These results suggest that the gender gap in labor force participation and earnings has reduced at a faster rate than the social norm change toward the role of women in Taiwan.