Market Work, Home Production, Consumer Demand and Unemployment among the Unskilled

Lührmann, Melanie ; Weiss, Matthias

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-12941
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2006
The title of a journal, publication series: MEA Discussion Papers
Volume: 101
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Law and Economics > Sonstige - Fakultät für Rechtswissenschaft und Volkswirtschaftslehre
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des MEA (Mannheim Research Institute For the Economics of Aging) > MEA Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: E21 E24 J22 J23 ,
Subject headings (SWD): General Equilibrium Environmental Model , Arbeitszeitverkürzung , Arbeitslosigkeit , Arbeitsmarkt , Heimarbeit , OECD
Abstract: We develop a general equilibrium model in which longer working time and higher labor force participation lead to a fall in unemployment. Longer working hours and higher labor force participation have two direct effects: People have higher incomes and less (leisure) time. This has implications for the composition of consumer demand, since people spend less time on home production. Instead, they outsource more domestic tasks to the market. Consumer demand shifts toward unskill-intensive goods. The relative demand for unskilled labor rises and unemployment falls. We provide empirical evidence for our theoretical predictions in several ways: We study the link between labor market participation, home production and the demand for household and similar services using the German time use survey conducted in 1991/92. In addition, we use panel data for 23 OECD countries between 1980 and 2003 to directly examine the link between labor force participation and the unemployment rate. The empirical results corroborate the predictions from the theoretical model.

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