Double income households: 4 essays on children, votes and parents’ labor supply
Author: Marte Strøm.
Ph.d.-thesis, Department of Economics University of Oslo. January 31, 2012.
The household forms an important decision and production unit in the economy. To what extent household characteristics are important for individual choices and economic outcomes is the overall question of this thesis. The most weight is given to household labor supply decisions in the presence of children - and how children affect the further careers of husband and wife, measured by wages. I also study how the relative economic interests of husband and wife are represented in the political system through the effect of relative income on individual voting behavior. The first chapter studies how men and women’s labor supply depend on own and spouse wage, how labor supply changes with children - and how the importance of relative wages in the household changes with children. The second chapter studies how having children affects wages - and thereby the role of children in changing the relative wages of men and women. The third chapter addresses the endogeneity of the child-decision and estimates the impact of an exogenous distribution of children (using miscarriage as a proxy) on fertility and labor market outcomes for women. The fourth chapter studies which income in the household best predicts individual voting behavior - own income or spouse income.