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The Suburbanization of Industry and Its Effects Upon Labor Force Participation Rates of Suburban Women


  • Marilyn Rubin


Post-World War II intrametropolitan dispersion of industry has been well documented in the literature on contemporary suburbanization. There has, however, been no empirical research conducted to determine the effect of the restructured metropolitan economy upon labor force participation rates of suburban residents, especially of suburban married women. The purpose of this study is to fill this research gap. The hypothesis tested is that increased employment opportunities in the suburbs will increase labor force participation of suburban married women, "ceteris paribus". The research results show the hypothesized relationship to be correct. The variable developed in this study and used as a proxy for the degree of intrametropolitan industrial dispersion is statistically significant, albeit a bit weak, in explaining intersuburban variation in labor force participation rates of married women, husband present. Other variables (such as median school years completed) included in more traditional non-spatially oriented labor force behavior models are statistically insignificant in explaining areal variation in participation rates. The findings point up the necessity of recognizing the spatial complexities of the urban economy. Copyright American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Marilyn Rubin, 1977. "The Suburbanization of Industry and Its Effects Upon Labor Force Participation Rates of Suburban Women," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 5(1), pages 111-127.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:5:y:1977:i:1:p:111-127

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