August 2013

IZA DP No. 7581: Labour Force Participation of Mature Age Men in Australia: The Role of Spousal Participation

published in: Oxford Economic Papers, Advance Access January 21, 2015 (10.1093/oep/gpu054)

In this paper we estimate the interdependence of labour force participation decisions made by Australian couples from 2001 to 2011. We focus on couples with a mature age husband, and estimate the interdependence of the participation decision of the couple. We find that the decision of a wife to work or not influences positively, and in a causal fashion, the decision of her husband to work or not. In our paper we use counterfactual analysis to estimate the impact of the increasing labour force participation of a wife on her husband's participation. We find that the increased labour force participation of married women observed between 2002 and 2011 has been responsible for about a 4 percentage points increase in the participation of their mature age husbands.