19 December 2022

Policies' implications on labor supply and inequality within families


The implications of inequality in the bargaining power and resources within families can be profound. With his newly awarded grant, LIFE, Thomas Høgholm Jørgensen will fill a research gap and investigate how tax and transfer policies can affect labor supply and inequality within families.


108 Mio DKK has been awarded by the Carlsberg Foundation to 23 newly appointed Associate Professors - and Thomas is one of them.

Starting in August next year Thomas will spend 3 years investigating the implications of inequality in the bargaining power and resources within families with the project Labor Supply and Inequality within Families (LIFE) .

Why? Because rising inequality is a global concern and many economic policy proposals are partly evaluated on their impact on inequality measures. This does not include intra-household inequality, however. More than 50% of OECD households are couples, and understanding intra-household inequality is thus key in understanding inequality in general and gender inequality in particular.

Most economic activity involves decisions within families. Families are complex dynamic units that often but not always involve decision making of two members in coordination. Inequality in the bargaining power and resources within families can have profound implications on, for instance, for how people save for old age, participate in labor market work, and allocate time between free-time and child care.

With LIFE Thomas will contribute with new research on how public policy can shape inequality within families and thus in society as a whole developing the next generation of economic models, focusing on dynamic bargaining of individuals in couples in a dynamic environment.

How? Thomas and his team will use empirical data on savings, labor market work, childcare usage, time allocation and marriages and divorces to validate the appropriateness of the economic laboratory. An in addition, using that framework, LIFE will investigate how not yet implemented tax and transfer policies is likely to affect the economic activity and inequality within families.