Author(s): Sebastien Buttet
We use 1960 and 1970 Census survey data to further examine households’ decision to own home appliances and the resulting impact on labor force participation decision of married women. We show that in both 1960 and 1970 survey data, the labor force participation rate of married women is greater in households that do not own home appliances compared to households that own home appliances. In addition, we find that variables related to race, home ownership, family size, and total household income are key factors in households’ decision to own home appliances leading to a more nuanced interpretation of the causal relationship between ownership of home appliances and the decision of married women to work. We infer from our results that increases in the rate of home ownership between 1960 and 1970 as well as decline in the price of home appliances relative to household income were important economic factors that influenced households’ decision to own home appliances.