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Women and the Labour Market: Recent Trends and Policy Issues

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  • Richard P. Chaykowski
  • Lisa M. Powell
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    Abstract

    This paper provides a review of the progress of women in the labour market over the last 30 years. We begin with a discussion of the theoretical underpinnings and the empirical evidence of the labour supply decisions of women. We then draw on Labour Force Survey data to examine the trends in labour force participation, and employment trends by industry and work patterns. We also draw on the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics to examine changes in women's wages and income inequality. Our results show that the labour supply behaviour of women has increased such that it now more closely mirrors that of their male counterparts, though children remain a key defining difference. Part-time labour market participation also reflects this difference. We show that while wages have improved, a sizable earnings differential remains. Changes in women's education levels were shown to underlie many of these trends. Finally, we conclude the paper by addressing policy issues related to the trends and position of women in the labour market. We focus this discussion on social assistance, child care policies, child benefits, employment insurance, non-wage benefits, and pay and employment equity.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

    Volume (Year): 25 (1999)
    Issue (Month): s1 (November)
    Pages: 2-25

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    Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:25:y:1999:i:s1:p:2-25

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    References

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    1. Browning, Martin, 1992. "Children and Household Economic Behavior," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1434-75, September.
    2. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1988. "Child-Care Costs and Family Labor Supply," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 374-81, August.
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    Cited by:
    1. Thomas F. Crossley & Sung-Hee Jeon, 2006. "Joint Taxation and the Labour Supply of Married Women: Evidence from the Canadian Tax Reform of 1988," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 404, McMaster University.
    2. Kohen, Dafna Forer, Barry Hertzman, Clyde, 2006. "Ensembles de donnees nationales : sources d'information sur la garde des enfants au Canada," Direction des etudes analytiques : documents de recherche 2006284f, Statistics Canada, Direction des etudes analytiques.
    3. Benoit Dostie, 2012. "Labour Supply and Taxes: New Estimates of the Responses of Wives to Husbands’ Wages," Cahiers de recherche 12-02, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
    4. DeRiviere, Linda, 2008. "Have we come a long way? Using the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics to revisit the 'pin money' theory," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2340-2367, December.
    5. Sung-Hee Jeon, 2008. "The Impact of Lifecycle Events on Women's Labour Force Transitions: A Panel Analysis," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(s1), pages S83-S98, 09.
    6. Sung-Hee Jeon, 2004. "The impacts of the 1988 tax reform on married women's labour supply in Canada," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-19, McMaster University.
    7. Kohen, Dafna Forer, Barry Hertzman, Clyde, 2006. "National Data Sets: Sources of Information for Canadian Child Care Data," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2006284e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    8. Linda A. White, 2001. "Child Care, Women's Labour Market Participation and Labour Market Policy Effectiveness in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 27(4), pages 385-405, December.
    9. Heather Scott-Marshall, 2010. "The Social Patterning of Work-Related Insecurity and its Health Consequences," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 96(2), pages 313-337, April.
    10. Lesley Andres & Maria Adamuti-Trache, 2007. "You've Come a Long Way, Baby? Persistent Gender Inequality in University Enrolment and Completion in Canada, 1979­2004," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 33(1), pages 93-116, March.

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