Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Essays on Macroeconomics and Family Economics
by Kubota, So, Ph.D., Princeton University, 2017, 128; 10621822
Abstract (Summary)

My dissertation contributes to quantitative macroeconomic approaches to family economics. Compared to dominant microeconometric methods, macroeconomic models have advantages in understanding economic mechanisms behind social phenomena, measuring general equilibrium effects, obtaining quantitative impacts of economic factors, making international comparisons and conducting policy experiments. This thesis applies macroeconomic methods and explores the determinants of family behaviors, particularly female labor supply.

In the first chapter, I study the decline in the female labor force participation rate in the United States in the 1990s and 2000s. This chapter shows that structural changes in the child care market play a substantial role in influencing the evolution of female labor force participation. I provide new estimates of long-term trends in the child care market that hourly expenditures rose by 32% and hours of daycare used declined by 27%. I propose a life-cycle model of married couples and predict that the rise in child care costs leads to a 5% decline in total employment of females, holding all else constant.

In the second chapter, I further study the causes of the increase in child care costs in the United States. I propose a hypothesis that expansion of child care subsidies to lower income households distorted the incentives for home-based child care providers. I provide a simple and tractable model of the child care market to analytically and numerically explain the hypothesis. I also propose the empirical evidence in the period of expanding child care subsidies to support the hypothesis.

In the third chapter, I study the world's largest decline in the female labor force participation rate in Turkey: it has fallen from 72% in 1955 to 29% in 2011. This chapter argues that, (i) the main industry has shifted from agriculture to non-agriculture, (ii) because of the social stigma against non-family market work for Turkish women, they have failed to move from agriculture to other sectors. I propose a simple general equilibrium model and conduct a cross-country comparison. The model captures the Turkish decline well with the stigma effect. This chapter suggests a quantitative importance of cultural factors.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rogerson, Richard
Commitee: Aguiar, Mark, Fleurbaey, Marc, Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, Oberfield, Ezra, Sims, Christopher
School: Princeton University
Department: Economics
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 79/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Economics, Economic theory
Keywords: Child care, Culture, Family, Female labor, Macroeconomics, Turkey
Publication Number: 10621822
ISBN: 978-0-355-32345-0
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