Crisis at Home: Mancession-induced Change in Intrahousehold Distribution

Mardi | 2015-11-24
Sully 5 de 15h00 à16h20


The Great Recession has often been referred to as a ‘mancession’ in several coun- tries including Spain and the US. Although women did experience substantial job losses during the recession, the crisis hit men harder than women for they were dis- proportionately represented in heavily affected sectors such as construction, man- ufacturing and financial services. To date, nothing is known about the way the mancession has translated within the household. More generally, we know little about how labor market opportunities affect intrahousehold distribution. To study this issue, we exploit the exogenous, gender-oriented evolution of the economic environment in Spain. Using consumption data from 2006-2011, we adapt and es- timate a collective model of consumption which allows testing original distribution factors. In particular, we allow the sharing rule to depend on regional-time varia- tion in relative job opportunities during the mancession. Looking more specifically at the gender-differentiated shock from the construction sector, we also suggest a difference-in-difference estimation originally embedded in the structural model. We find that the mancession strongly impacts the way the resources are shared within the household. On average, following the improvement of their relative opportu- nities on the labor market, the resource share accruing to Spanish wives increased by around 5-6 percent in stable marriages. In magnitude, this effect is higher than the distributional impact of actual husbands’ unemployment. The difference-in-difference estimates confirm that most of the effect is driven by the construction sector.