In the spirit of Polachek (1975) and the later work of Becker (1985) on the role of specialization within the family, we examine the relationship between fringe benefits…
In the spirit of Polachek (1975) and the later work of Becker (1985) on the role of specialization within the family, we examine the relationship between fringe benefits and the division of labor within a married household. The provision of fringe benefits is complicated by their non-additive nature within the household, as well as IRS regulations that stipulate that they be offered in a non-discriminatory manner in order to maintain their tax-exempt status. We model family decisions within a framework in which one spouse specializes in childcare and as a result experiences a reduction in market productive capacity. Our model predicts that the forces toward specialization become stronger as the number of children increase, so that the spouse specializing in childcare will have some combination of lower wages, hours worked, and fringe benefits. We demonstrate that to the extent that labor markets are incomplete, the family is less likely to obtain health insurance from the employer of the spouse that specializes in childcare. Using data from the April 1993 CPS we find evidence consistent with our model.
Through a survey of 200 employees working in five of the thirty establishments analysed in previous research about the microeconomic effects of reducing the working time (Cahier 25), the consequences on employees of such a reduction can be assessed; and relevant attitudes and aspirations better known.