Long-term Returns to Rural Workfare Programs OPEN!
Why do U.S. female workers rarely work part-time? OPEN!

Why do relatively few women work part-time in the U.S. (and Canada) if it seems as a natural way to combine child/home care work (which women in the U.S. still do disproportionally) with employment?. This question is inspired by an insightful twitter thread of Alice Evans (King's College London, Yale). The U.S. labor force participation rate for women is comparable to most European countries: But relatively few of employed females work part-time (only 20% vs 60% for Netherlands or 40% for Germany): Potential Explanation/Hypotheses: Women work full time because they need to preserve health insurance which would be very costly otherwise in the US. Counterargument: Women also work full time in Canada which does not rely on private health insurance. Lower taxes in the US incentivize more work (Prescott, 2004). Counterargument: taxes explain less of variation in hours if using a more standard values for the elasticity of labor supply (Alesina, Glaeser and Sacerdote, 2005) American at-will labor separation policies and lower safety net create more incentives to invest in goodwill with your employer. Working full time shows that you are a loyal productive worker and increases on-the-job learning. Higher returns on education shift the choice in labor-leisure tradeoff towards working more. Higher returns on work experience create incentives to work more. Two potential approaches to test it: 1) a structural model to incorporate multiple mechanism/explanations and match to the data or 1) a good reduced form identification for just one channel based on experimental or quasi-experimental variation. It would be wise first to start with exploring more of recent literature on these channels and with studying the available secondary data to narrow down the list of hypotheses (e.g. returns on education and experience in the US, Canada and in European countries, study obvious large variation in full time work percentage within Europe).

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