Document Type

Honors Thesis


When we look at the general trend in household labor supply, historically we can see that when husbands start earning more, their wives reduce their labor supply. In the last few decades, the number of wives who have attained higher education has increased, and with this, the number of wives earning a higher income than their husbands have also increased. But still, research till now suggests that husbands’ labor supply is not significantly affected by their wives’ wage increase. This paper studies the labor supply of husbands and wives relative to their educational attainment by using educational attainment to measure the earning power. By conducting a statistical analysis on 2014-2016 American Community Surveys (ACS) data, I am going to study the dynamic relationship between the labor supply decision of husbands and their wives, and look for pieces of evidence to see whether the husbands’ labor supply is affected by an increase in their wives earning power. Moreover, by using College majors to calculate earning potential, we find that husbands labor supply response is more significant than when simple educational attainment is used. The preliminary results of this research show that even till this day, husbands wage increase has a negative effect on labor supply of wives, whereas increase in wives’ salary does not show any significant effects on husbands' labor supply.

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