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This paper presents a model of self‐fulfilling expectations by firms and households which generates multiplicity of equilibria in pay and housework time allocation for ex‐ante identical spouses. Multiplicity arises from statistical discrimination exerted by firms in the provision of paid‐for training to workers, rather than from incentive problems in the labor market. Employers' beliefs about differences in spouses' reactions to housework shocks lead to symmetric (ungendered) and asymmetric (gendered) equilibria. We find that: (1) the ungendered equilibrium tends to prevail as aggregate productivity in the economy increases (regardless of the generosity of family aid policies), (2) the ungendered equilibrium could yield higher welfare under some scenarios, and (3) gender‐neutral job subsidies are more effective that gender‐targeted ones in removing the gendered equilibrium. (JEL J16, J70, J71)
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: : Department of Economics, Universidad Carlos III De Madrid, c/Madrid 126, Getafe, Madrid 28903, Spain. Phone 34916249300, Fax: 34916249875 2: : Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), Centre de la Vieille Charité, 2 rue de la Charité, Marseille 13236, France. Phone 33(0)491140746, Fax: 33(0)491900227 3: : Department of Economics, Universidad del Pais Vasco, Avda. Lehendakari Aguirre 83, Bilibao 48015, Spain. Phone 34946013783, Fax: 34946017123

Publication date: July 1, 2013

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