Regional Sexual Division of Labor and Economic Growth
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Over the years there have been a number of attempts to modify neoclassical consumer theory to deal with economic issues about endogenous labor supply, family structure, working hours and the valuation of traveling time (Becker, 1965, 1976, Mills and Hamilton, 1985, Folbre, 1986, Chiappori, 1988, 1992, Persson and Jonung, 1997, 1998). For instance, there is an increasing amount of economic literature about sexual division of labor, marriage and divorce, and decision-makings about family size. It has been argued that the increasing returns from human capital accumulation represent a powerful force creating a division of labor in the allocation of time between the male and female population (e.g., Becker, 1985). There are also studies on the relationship between economic growth and the family distribution of income (e.g., Fei, Ranis and Kuo, 1978). There are studies of the female labor supply. Women choose levels of market time on the basis of wage rates and incomes. Lifetime variations in costs and opportunities — due to children, unemployment of the spouse, and general business cycle variations — influence the timing of female labor participation (e.g., Mincer, 1962, Smith, 1977, Heckman and Macurdy, 1980). Possible sexual discrimination in labor markets has also attracted the attention from economists (e.g., Cain, 1986, Lazear and Rosen, 1990). The gains from marriage may be reduced as people become rich and educated. The growth in the female population’s earning power may raise the forgone value of their time spent at child care, education and other household activities, which may reduce the demand for children and encourage a substitution away from parental activities. Divorce rates, fertility, and labor participation rates may interact in much more complicated ways. Decision making about on family size is extremely complicated (e.g., Becker, 1981, Weiss and Willis, 1985).
KeywordsWage Rate Capital Stock Human Capital Accumulation Market Time Female Labor Supply
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