Moshe Buchinsky, University of California, Los Angeles - The Role of Women and Men in Choices of Residential and Work Locations in Israel

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Title: The Role of Women and Men in Choices of Residential and Work Locations in Israel

Abstract: In this study we augment the comprehensive dynamic programing model developed in Buchinsky, Gotlibovski and Lifshitz (2014) with the necessary features that would allow us to examine the sample of women. The key goal of the paper is to identify and analyze the role of the wife in the decision making within the household, especially the impact of the decision making process on the vast differences in the outcomes for women and men. We use retrospective longitudinal data on immigrants who arrived in Israel from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) from 1989 through 1995. The results suggest that women and men take different responsibilities within the household, and thus the family concentrates on finding residential locations that are especially fit for utilizing the human capital of the husband rather than that of the wife. This family strategy leads to weak performances of the women in the labor market. A series of counterfactual simulations indicates that, given their observed characteristics, women could have gained a lot if they were to behave in a manner similar to their male counterparts. The labor market outcome gaps between the spouses is not a result of different levels of observed human capital. In fact, if the women were to behave and were treated in the marketplace like men, their labor market outcomes would have been better than those for men. According to a new index that we propose, we find that the female losses are on average about 60% of their current wages, namely, if the women were to choose the residential locations of the family their wages would increase by about 60% on average.

Presenter: Moshe Buchinsky, University of California, Los Angeles

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