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Female Labor Supply: Why is the US Falling Behind?

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  • Francine D. Blau
  • Lawrence M. Kahn

Abstract

In 1990, the US had the sixth highest female labor participation rate among 22 OECD countries. By 2010, its rank had fallen to 17th. We find that the expansion of “family-friendly” policies including parental leave and part-time work entitlements in other OECD countries explains 28-29% of the decrease in US women’s labor force participation relative to these other countries. However, these policies also appear to encourage part-time work and employment in lower level positions: US women are more likely than women in other countries to have full time jobs and to work as managers or professionals.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18702.

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Date of creation: Jan 2013
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Publication status: published as Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M. Kahn. 2013. “Female Labor Supply: Why is the US Falling Behind? American Economic Review, 103 (3): 251-256.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18702

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References

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  1. Eleonora Matteazzi & Ariane Pailhé & Anne Solaz, 2012. "Part-time wage penalties in Europe: A matter of selection or segregation?," Working Papers 250, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  2. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," NBER Working Papers 5688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Manning, Alan & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2006. "The Part-Time Pay Penalty for Women in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 2419, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Waldfogel, Jane, 1998. "The Family Gap for Young Women in the United States and Britain: Can Maternity Leave Make a Difference?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 505-45, July.
  5. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2001. "Understanding International Differences in the Gender Pay Gap," NBER Working Papers 8200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Elena Bardasi & Janet Gornick, 2008. "Working for less? Women's part-time wage penalties across countries," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 37-72.
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Cited by:
  1. Emanuele Forlani & Elisabetta Lodigiani & Concetta Mendolicchio, 2013. "The Impact of Low-Skilled Immigration on Female Labour Supply," DEM Working Papers Series 058, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Management.
  2. Anita Fichtl, 2013. "Gender Quotas on Boardroom Representation in Europe," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(3), pages 62-64, October.
  3. Tominey, Emma, 2013. "Maternity Leave and the Responsiveness of Female Labor Supply to a Household Shock," IZA Discussion Papers 7462, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Emma Tominey, 2013. "Maternity Leave and the Responsiveness of Female Labor Supply to a Household Shock," Working Papers 2013-016, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  5. Stefan Bauernschuster & Anita Fichtl, 2013. "Brauchen wir eine gesetzliche Frauenquote?," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 66(02), pages 39-48, 01.

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