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Female Labor Supply: Why Is the United States Falling Behind?

Author

Listed:
  • 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 seventeenth. We find that the expansion of "family-friendly" policies, including parental leave and part-time work entitlements in other OECD countries, explains 29 percent 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2013. "Female Labor Supply: Why Is the United States Falling Behind?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 251-256, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:251-56
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.251
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions

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