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The Review of Black Political Economy

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 429–439 | Cite as

Comparative labor supply of black and white women

  • Emily P. Hoffman
Articles

Conclusions

The presence of young children decreases women’s labor supply as shown by the LFPRs for women with young children (which are always considerably lower than those for women without young children). Also, the number of young children is almost always negatively related to annual hours of labor supplied (significantly so in half the regressions). Black and white women are found to have an inelastic labor supply, but with increasing elasticity from 1969 to 1974. There is a statistically significant difference in the estimated regression coefficients of the labor supply model for black and white married women in 1969 and 1974 in both the arithmetic and logarithmic forms. The husband’s earnings are significantly negatively related to white married women’s annual hours of work in 1974, while the relationship is not significant for black married women. Crosselasticity terms show that white married women decrease their annual hours of work in response to an increase in husband’s earnings to a greater extent than black married women in 1971 and 1974. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that black women do not rely on their husband’s earnings to as great an extent as white women.

Keywords

Labor Supply White Woman Married Woman Black Political Economy Occupational Prestige 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Orley Ashenfelter and James Heckman. “The Estimation of Income and Substitution Effects in a Model of Family Labor Supply.”Econometrica 42 (January 1974): 73–85.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Jacob Mincer. “Labor Force Participation of Married Women.” InAspects of Labor Economics: A Conference of the Universities. National Bureau of Economic Research. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1962.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Heckman points out that this causes selectivity bias, since the labor supply of working women is not the same as the potential labor supply of all women. However, Cain and Watts observe that including persons not in the labor force may distort regression estimates because these nonparticipants may differ from participants in tastes for work, in health, or may be at a point of disequilibrium. On balance, noninclusion of nonparticipants seems more appropriate for this study. James J. Heckman. “The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection, and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models.”Annals of Economic and Social Measurement 5 (Fall 1976): 475–492. Glen C. Cain and Harold W. Watts. “Toward a Summary and Synthesis of the Evidence.” InIncome Maintenance and Labor Supply: Econometric Studies, eds. G. C. Cain and H. W. Watts. Chicago: Markham Publishers, 1973.Google Scholar
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    Peter Blau and Otis Dudley Duncan.The American Occupational Structure. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1967.Google Scholar
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    However, for 1969 the husband’s earnings are unavailable; therefore other income is computed as total household income minus wife’s earnings.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    For 1974, children less than six years old are estimated as being children who were less than three years old in 1971. The number of births was very low for the women, who were aged 37 to 51 in 1974.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    The NLS mature women were aged 30 to 44 in 1967, the date of the original survey.Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    William G. Bowen and T. Aldrich Finegan.The Economics of Labor Force Participation. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969.Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    Work experience is defined as the sum of the number of years in which the woman worked six months or more (since leaving school) in an occupation related to her current or last job for 1967 (the date of the original NLS survey), plus 1 for each year she was in the labor force since 1967.Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    Bose observes that women’s occupational prestige is underestimated by the Duncan score; therefore, the Bose index is a preferable measure of women’s occupational prestige. Since the Bose index is not available for 1974, the Duncan index is used to allow a consistent comparison of occupational prestige across years. Christine E. Bose.Jobs and Gender: Sex and Occupational Prestige. Center for Metropolitan Planning and Research, Johns Hopkins University, 1973.Google Scholar
  11. 12.
    Glen C. Cain.Married Women in the Labor Force. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966.Google Scholar
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    U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Employment in Perspective: Working Women.” Report No. 531. April 1978.Google Scholar
  14. 21.
    Michael J. Boskin. “The Economics of Labor Supply.” InIncome Maintenance and Labor Supply: Econometric Studies, eds. Glen C. Cain and Harold W. Watts. Chicago: Markham Publishers, 1973.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily P. Hoffman

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