Food Choices Fuel Female Labor Force: The Effects of Purchased Foods on Female Labor Force Participation in Thailand

Aphichoke Kotikula, Johns Hopkins University and World Bank Group

This paper explores the impact purchased food consumption has on labor force participation among married women in Thailand. Changes in household production, such as substituting home cooked meals with purchase food, can explain the increases of women in the labor forces. In this study, purchased foods are both those from restaurants or prepared meals from food markets. To tackle the endogeneity, variables related to the availability of purchased food in the neighborhood are used as instruments. Findings confirm that the use of purchased food impacts the wife’s labor force participation. This paper also offers a way to study intra-household allocation by using widely available household surveys.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Inequality, Labor Force, Education, Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Religion, Policy