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최신자료
Gendered Change: 150 Years of Transformation in US Hours
NBER
2024.05.21
Women‘s contribution to the economy has been markedly underestimated in predominantly agricultural societies, due to their widespread involvement in unpaid agricultural work. Combining data from the US Census and several early sources, we create a consistent measure of male and female employment and hours for the US for 1870-2019, including paid work and unpaid work in family farms and non-farm businesses. The resulting measure of hours traces a U-shape for women, with a modest decline up to mid-20th century followed by a sustained increase, and a monotonic decline for men. We propose a multisector economy with uneven productivity growth, income effects, and consumption complementarity across sectoral outputs. During early development stages, declining agriculture leads to rising services -- both in the market and the home -- and leisure, reducing market work for both genders. In later stages, structural transformation reallocates labor from manufacturing into services, while marketization reallocates labor from home to market services. Given gender comparative advantages, the first channel is more relevant for men, reducing male hours, while the second channel is more relevant for women, increasing female hours. Our quantitative illustration suggests that structural transformation and marketization can account for the overall decline in market hours from 1880-1950, and one quarter of the rise and decline, respectively, in female and male market hours from 1950-2019.