Wives' Responses to Husbands' Job Loss: Heterogeneity Among Households

Thursday, 2 July 2015: 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
TW1.2.04 (Tower One)
Rui Fukuda, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Japan
This study attempts to clarify how Spanish wives tend to react to change in their husbands’ employment status. More specifically, this study brings into perspective the heterogeneous effects of husbands’ job loss on wives’ labour behaviour amongstcouples with different combinations of educational credentials.

For analysis, a panel data set of labour participation of married women in Spain from the European Community Household Panel for Spain(1994-2001) is used in this study. The data is based on couples with household information.

This study focused on, firstly, the average differences of wives’ labour behaviour using correlated random effects (CRE) model, and second, the differences of wives’ reactions to husbands’ job loss experience using random effects (RE) and fixed effects (FE) model. This study adopted plural outcome variables, such as labour force status and working hours of married women.

The results are as follow. Firstly, (1) amongst working wives, the average level of working hours of wives in households where the wife has higher education credentials than her husband and where the wife and the husband both have tertiary education are higher compared to wives in households where wives and husbands both have only primary education. This implies existence of heterogeneities amongst households, in terms of wives’ average behavioural patterns. Second, (2) regarding the reaction to husband’s job loss, wives having lower educational background than their husbands, the traditional combination, tend to enter the labour force more after husbands’ job loss experience.

While imperfect, attempts to combine the perspective of heterogeneity amongst couples and wives’ reaction patterns to husbands’ job loss suggested in this study will pave the path for studies that enquire married women’s labour behaviour patterns. Implications of this study can potentially contribute to both theoretical and empirical aspects as well as policy making.