Working Papers

Taxing Families: The Impact of Child-related Transfers on Maternal Labor Supply (PDF)

Revise & resubmit at AEJ: Macro

The employment rate of married women with and without pre-school children varies substantially across countries. To what extent can child-related transfers account for this variation? I develop a life-cycle model in which married couples jointly decide their labor supply, female human capital evolves endogenously, and some couples have access to grandparental childcare. I show that child-related transfers can explain most of the variation in the employment rates of married women, even after taking the labor income tax treatment and cross-country variation in childcare fees into account.


Luxuries, Necessities, and the Allocation of Time (PDF)

joint with Lei Fang and Pedro Silos


Households enjoy utility from activities that require a combination of time and goods. We classify activities into two types: luxuries and necessities. Luxuries (necessities) are activities for which time and expenditure shares rise (decline) with income. We develop and estimate a Beckerian model with nonhomothetic preferences and find that time and goods are substitutable in the production of activities. Activities are also substitutable among themselves. Hence, wage and price changes lead households to real- locate resources across activities, which is quantitatively important for welfare inequality. Welfare inequality increases in the presence of luxury activities, but declines in the presence of necessities.


Work in Progress

Rising Cohabitation and Child Development (Poster)

joint with Efi AdamopoulouKaren Kopecky, and Tim Obermeier

Cohabitation rates of couples without children have steadily increased in the U.S. over the past 50 years. Yet, cohabitation rates of couples with small children have only increased for the less educated. What explains this differential rise in cohabitation rates by education and what are the implications for child investment and child outcomes? We show empirically that cohabiting women experience smaller childbirth penalties, work more in the labor market, and spend less time with their children as compared to married women. Subsequently, their children are less likely to obtain a college degree. To rationalize these facts, we build an overlapping generations model of marriage, cohabitation, and child development. Parents are altruistic towards their children and invest time and goods into their development. This, in turn, increases the probability that a child completes college. Couples can choose to separate in every period but married couples pay a divorce cost. Assets are split equally between spouses if couples were married prior to separation, but not if spouses previously cohabited. The model matches differences in hours worked, time, and money invested in children between married and cohabiting women. A comparison of the 1975 and 2015 steady states reveals that changes in the gender wage gap and the college premium are important drivers of the rise in cohabitation among less educated women with children over this period.


Patents and Economic Growth

The Political Economy of Laws to "Protect" Women

joint with Matthias Doepke, Hanno Foerster and Michèle Tertilt

Fixed-Term Contracts, Fertility, and the Gender Wage Gap

joint with Hanna Wang

Fertility (in preparation for: Handbook of Family Economics)

joint with Matthias Doepke, Fabian Kindermann and Michèle Tertilt