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ANU Crawford School of Public Policy presents


Women’s labour force participation and household technology adoption


ACDE Seminar


28th April 2020


Seminar Room 1, Stanner Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Sarah Walker, UNSW Business School



The research presented in the seminar examines how women’s employment leads to household technology adoption in the USA. It posits that this relationship is strongest for households with low earning capacity whose consumption-leisure trade-off crosses a threshold as women go to work. Using WWII factories to instrument for female labour demand, the research finds that a standard deviation increase in female labour force participation increases washing machine ownership by 0.44 standard deviations, driven primarily by counties in the lowest pre-war education quintile. Changes to household income, as well as the substitution of paid domestic labour with appliances, are important channels.

Paper available here.

Sarah Walker, UNSW Business School

Image: alfred t palmer on wikimedia commons

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