This paper uses CPS data to examine changes in single women's labor supply elasticities in recent decades. Specifically, the authors investigate trends in how single women's hours of work and labor force participation rates responded to both wages and income over the years 1979-2003. Results from the base specification suggest that over the observation period, hours wage elasticities decreased by 82%, participation wage elasticities by 36%, and participation income elasticities by 57%. These results imply that changes in tax policy had a much larger effect on the labor supply and labor force participation behavior of women in this subpopulation in the early 1980s than in recent years.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.