Single Women's Labor Supply Elasticities

Trends and Policy Implications

Published In: Industrial and Labor Relations Review v. 63, no. 1, Oct. 2009, p. 146-168

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2008

by Kelly Bishop, Bradley Heim, Kata Mihaly

Read More

Access further information on this document at www.ilr.cornell.edu

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

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.

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.