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Women's Work and Economic Development

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  • Kristin Mammen
  • Christina Paxson

Abstract

Using a cross-country dataset and microdata from India and Thailand, we examine how women's work status changes with economic development. Several clear patterns emerge: women's labor force participation first declines and then rises with development; women move from work in family enterprises to work as paid employees; fertility declines; and gender gaps in education narrow. Women's education levels, and those of their spouses, appear to be important determinants of women's labor market activities. Broad welfare indicators, such as mortality rates and education levels, indicate that women's well-being improves on average with development, both in absolute terms and relative to men.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.14.4.141
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 14 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
Pages: 141-164

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:14:y:2000:i:4:p:141-164

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.14.4.141
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  1. Behrman, Jere R, 1988. "Intrahousehold Allocation of Nutrients in Rural India: Are Boys Favored? Do Parents Exhibit Inequality Aversion?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 32-54, March.
  2. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
  3. Psacharopoulos, George & Tzannatos, Zafiris, 1989. "Female Labor Force Participation: An International Perspective," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 4(2), pages 187-201, July.
  4. Jere R. Behrman & Anil B. Deolalikar, 1990. "The Intrahousehold Demand for Nutrients in Rural South India: Individual Estimates, Fixed Effects, and Permanent Income," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 665-696.
  5. Schultz, T. Paul, 1988. "Education investments and returns," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 543-630 Elsevier.
  6. Haddad, Lawrence & Hoddinott, John & Alderman, Harold & DEC, 1994. "Intrahousehold resource allocation : an overview," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1255, The World Bank.
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