Does the labour supply of wives respond to husbands' wages? Canadian evidence from micro data and grouped data

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Using micro data and grouped data, we assess the extent to which Canadian wives adjusted their labour supply in response to changes in husbands' wages during the period 1980-2000. Grouped data parameters based on weighted least squares and the unbiased-error-in-variables estimator developed by Devereux (2004, 2007a,b) yield cross-wage elasticities that are substantially higher (in absolute value) than those derived from OLS regressions run on micro data. Both grouping estimators indicate that the labour supply of Canadian wives responded strongly to changes in husbands' wages during the 1980s. For the 1990s, our estimates of wives' cross-wage elasticity display greater dispersion.

Keywords: J2

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Business and Labour Market Analysis Division, Statistics Canada

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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