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Women and the Labour Market: Recent Trends and Policy Issues

  • Richard P. Chaykowski
  • Lisa M. Powell
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    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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    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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    Web page: http://economics.ca/cpp/
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    1. 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.
    2. Browning, Martin, 1992. "Children and Household Economic Behavior," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1434-75, September.
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