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Economia Global e Gestão

versão impressa ISSN 0873-7444

Economia Global e Gestão v.12 n.2 Lisboa ago. 2007

 

Female labor force participation and household expenditure patterns *

Cândida Sofia Machado **

 

 

ABSTRACT: Surprisingly for a Southern European country, female participation in the labor market increased very sharply in Portugal from the 1960s onwards, such that nowadays the country has one of the highest female activity rates in the European Union, after Scandinavia, the UK and the Netherlands. This paper investigates the impact of female labor force participation on the consumption behavior of Portuguese households, focusing on the following expenses household services, personal services, food away from home, childcare, culture, and travel for tourism. It relies on micro data on individuals and their households. Estimation of Tobit models indicates that most of the services under analysis can be considered luxury items. Moreover, households with an employed wife allocate a higher proportion of their budget to culture, travel, childcare, food away from home, and domestic services, than do households where the woman does not participate in the labor force.

Key words: Consumption, Services, Female Employment

 

 

Título: Participação feminina no emprego e padrões familiares de despesa

RESUMO: Em Portugal, a participação feminina no mercado de trabalho aumentou significativamente desde a década de 60, de tal modo que o país apresenta actualmente uma das mais elevadas taxas de actividade femininas na União Europeia, atrás da Escandinávia, do Reino Unido e dos Países Baixos. Este trabalho investiga o impacto da participação feminina na força de trabalho sobre o comportamento de consumo das famílias portuguesas, incidindo sobre as seguintes despesas: serviços domésticos, serviços pessoais; alimentação fora de casa; cuidados infantis; cultura e viagens para fins turísticos. A análise empírica baseia-se na utilização de dados microeconómicos sobre os indivíduos e as suas famílias. A estimação de modelos Tobit indica que a generalidade dos serviços em análise pode ser classificada como itens de luxo. Adicionalmente, as famílias nas quais a esposa está empregada alocam uma maior proporção do seu orçamento em cultura, viagens, cuidados infantis, alimentação fora de casa e serviços domésticos, comparativamente com as famílias nas quais a mulher não participa na força de trabalho.

Palavras-chave: Consumo, Serviços, Emprego Feminino

 

 

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* I thank the Portuguese Statistical Office (INE) for access to the data set used in this paper under the protocol signed between INE and the Ministry of Science.

 

** Cândida Sofia Machado

cmachado@ipca.pt

Assistant Lecturer at the School of Management of the Instituto Politécnico do Cávado e do Ave, Portugal. Master degree in Industrial Economics. PhD Student in Economic Sciences