Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 767–790 | Cite as

Married women’s added worker effect during the 2008 economic crisis—The case of Turkey

  • Sinem H. AyhanEmail author


This paper analyzes the labor supply response of married women as a result of their husbands’ job losses (‘added worker effect’). The study uses panel data from Turkey to test the presence of an added worker effect during the global economic crisis of 2008. Identification is achieved by an instrumental variable approach. In particular, an exogenous variation in the output of male-dominated sectors induced by the crisis is used as an instrument for the husbands’ unemployment. Results show that the probability of a woman participating in the labor force increases by 15–28% in response to her husband’s unemployment. However, the effect is not contemporaneous; rather, it appears with a lag of one quarter and only operates for two quarters. The effect is mainly driven by financially-constrained (less-educated and young) couples, which suggests the prevalence of an income effect in spousal labor supply decisions.


Spousal labor supply Added worker effect Gender Economic crisis 

JEL Classification

J22 J16 D13 E32 



I am deeply grateful to Margherita Fort and Riccardo Rovelli for their guidance, advice and criticisms throughout my research. Special thanks to Abdurrahman Aydemir, Erich Battistin, Richard Blundell, Arnaud Chevalier, Fabian Lange, Hartmut Lehmann, Silvia Pasqua, Massimiliano Tani, Semih Tumen, Rudolf Winter-Ebmer and Kamil Yilmaz for invaluable comments, as well as Richard Forsythe and Derek Stemple for a thorough language editing. I also thank the seminar participants at the University of Bologna, IZA, Collegio Carlo Alberto, AIEL 2014 Conference in Pisa and EEA 2015 Conference in Mannheim. Last but not least, I wish to express my gratitude to the journal’s editor, Shoshana Grossbard, and three anonymous reviewers for constructive feedback that helped me improve the manuscript. All errors are my own.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)BonnGermany

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