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Events

Economics and Finance external seminar series: Monika Merz, University of Vienna

Wednesday, 4 March 2020
15:00 to 16:30
Monika Merz, University of Vienna
Durham University Business School MHL 223

Title: Couples’ Time Use in the Aggregate: Evidence from a Structural Model

Abstract

We analyze the economic determinants of couples’ decisions to allocate their available time across market work, homework and leisure using the German Time-Use Surveys of 2001/02. These data allow identifying actual couples who can be married or cohabiting. Specifically, we use Bayesian indirect inference to estimate a static model of couples’ time-allocation decisions allowing for ‘no market-work’ as a possible outcome. The model features intra-household and inter-household heterogeneity. Partners differ in their taste for purchased consumption goods and non-market goods and activities as well as in their offered or earned wage rate. We use the estimated model as a lab for counterfactual exercises in the cross-section and in the aggregate. We find own-wage and cross-wage elasticities of hours worked to be larger for females than males. We also aggregate preferences and wages by gender and compare outcomes for a stand-in couple with those from heterogeneous couples. We find that preferences rather than wages are the prime determinant of labour-leisure choices in the aggregate, especially for females.

More about the speaker

Economics and Finance external seminar series: Monika Merz, University of Vienna

Wednesday, 4 March 2020
15:00 to 16:30
Monika Merz, University of Vienna
Durham University Business School MHL 223

Title: Couples’ Time Use in the Aggregate: Evidence from a Structural Model

Abstract

We analyze the economic determinants of couples’ decisions to allocate their available time across market work, homework and leisure using the German Time-Use Surveys of 2001/02. These data allow identifying actual couples who can be married or cohabiting. Specifically, we use Bayesian indirect inference to estimate a static model of couples’ time-allocation decisions allowing for ‘no market-work’ as a possible outcome. The model features intra-household and inter-household heterogeneity. Partners differ in their taste for purchased consumption goods and non-market goods and activities as well as in their offered or earned wage rate. We use the estimated model as a lab for counterfactual exercises in the cross-section and in the aggregate. We find own-wage and cross-wage elasticities of hours worked to be larger for females than males. We also aggregate preferences and wages by gender and compare outcomes for a stand-in couple with those from heterogeneous couples. We find that preferences rather than wages are the prime determinant of labour-leisure choices in the aggregate, especially for females.

More about the speaker