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The Return on Women's Human Capital and the Role of Male Attitudes Toward Working Wives


  • Hwei-Lin Chuang
  • Hsih-yin Lee


This study empirically investigates women's work interruption behavior in Taiwan and this behavior's influence on women's earnings. The most striking finding from our analysis of women's work history patterns is that a husband's negative attitude toward a working wife will more greatly discourage his wife from attaching to the labor market than will the presence of young children in the family. Thus, it is critical to educate men to give up their traditional attitudes toward gender roles in order to raise the female labor force participation rate in Taiwan. As to the effect of work interruption on earnings, a depreciation rate of 2.8% is found for women with at least a high-school level of education, while no penalty of foregone experience is shown for less-educated women. Since this depreciation effect may discourage women from re-entering the labor market, government programs encouraging self-employment should be helpful, as self-employed women find it easier to overcome the conflict between family obligations and work needs. Copyright 2003 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..

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  • Hwei-Lin Chuang & Hsih-yin Lee, 2003. "The Return on Women's Human Capital and the Role of Male Attitudes Toward Working Wives," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 435-459, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ajecsc:v:62:y:2003:i:2:p:435-459

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    9. Steve Pejovich, 2003. "Understanding the transaction costs of transition: it's the culture, stupid," ICER Working Papers 24-2003, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Germana Bottone, 2009. "Education in Italy: is there any return?," ISAE Working Papers 109, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).
    2. Marcela Perticara, 2006. "Women’s Employment Transitions and Fertility," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv172, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
    3. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:38:i:2/3:p:341-356 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Tatli, Ahu & Vassilopoulou, Joana & Özbilgin, Mustafa, 2013. "An unrequited affinity between talent shortages and untapped female potential: The relevance of gender quotas for talent management in high growth potential economies of the Asia Pacific region," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 539-553.
    5. Yana van der Meulen Rodgers & Joseph Zveglich & Laura Wherry, 2006. "Gender Differences In Vocational School Training And Earnings Premiums In Taiwan," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 527-560.
    6. Alewell, Dorothea & Pull, Kerstin, 2005. "Rechtsschutz für Mütter : eine ökonomische Analyse des Mutterschutzgesetzes und seiner Wirkungen auf die Beschäftigungssituation von Frauen (Legal protection for mothers * an economic analysis of the ," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 38(2/3), pages 341-356.
    7. Marcela Perticara & Claudia Sanhueza, 2010. "Women’s Employment after Childbirth," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv258, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.

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