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Three essays in labor and family economics


Choi, HwaJung (2008). Three essays in labor and family economics. Master's thesis / Doctoral dissertation.


This dissertation investigates behavioral responses to adverse economic events. Informal networks such as family play an important role in mitigating economic hardship, especially when public safety networks are limited. First chapter explores long-term consequences of parental illness in the labor market. Using the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Study, empirical results indicate that having an unhealthy father substantially reduces a daughter's future working probability in the labor market. Incorporating family economic linkage and time allocation theory, the economic model suggests that the budget-strained family reallocates roles or resources based on relative value between market-intensive and time-intensive commodity. Responding to an adverse economic situation caused by the poor health of a family member, women are more likely to allocate time to non-market labor than do men when relative return on market labor is significantly lower for women. Second chapter examines how remittances sent by migrants respond to income shocks experienced by Philippine households. Because household income and remittances are determined jointly, we exploit rainfall shocks as instrumental variables for income changes. In households with migrants abroad, we find that an exogenous decline in household income leads to increase in remittances, consistent with an insurance motivation for remittances. In such households, we cannot reject the null hypothesis of full insurance: on average, essentially all exogenous declines in income are replaced by remittance inflows from abroad. Third chapter investigates an individual's own/sibling's health implications in the labor market. Empirical results from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics suggest that an individual's health status as a young adult is a significant predictor of his or her future working status. Sibling health also plays an important role in determining women's labor force participation: a woman with an unhealthy sibling in her young adulthood is likelier to work in the market in her adulthood. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by addressing your request to ProQuest, 789 E. Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346. Telephone 1-800-521-3042; email:

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Choi, HwaJung