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A growth model with time allocation and social participation

Bassetti, Thomas and Favaro, Donata (2009): A growth model with time allocation and social participation.

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Abstract

In this article we propose a model of growth with human capital accumulation, in which individuals allocate their time among work, education and socio-political participation. Socio-political participation, while subtracting time to education, positively affects individual’s utility; the utility function depends on both consumption and time allocated to socio-political participation. The model is expanded to include two social groups, specifically women and men, whose values and targets are different; every individual engages in socio-political activities to socially establish the values of the group she/he belongs to and his utility will be greater the more the society has values similar to those of the belonging group. The model predicts that economies with a more egualitarian presence of females and males in employment and higher population growth rates converge to a stationary state where time allocated to working activities is lower and time for education is higher. We simulate the model on some European countries with different female/male employment rates, population growth rates and capital shares. Simulations confirm the empirical evidence: European countries with a more equal presence of women and men in the labour market experience higher education attainment rates, allocate a higher proportion of time to social participation, and work, on average, a lower number of hours than countries with a lower relative proportion of females in employment.

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