IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/fip/fedaer/y2006iq2p1-20nv.91no.2.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Changes in behavioral and characteristic determination of female labor force participation, 1975-2005

Author

Listed:
  • Julie L. Hotchkiss

Abstract

For policymakers, identifying the factors contributing to changes in labor force participation over time is important for setting appropriate policy regarding the nation’s productivity. Although the factors contributing to such changes over the past six decades have been well documented, more recent trends in women’s labor force participation beg further scrutiny. ; This article dissects the changes in the labor force participation rate over the past thirty years among women aged twenty-five to fifty-four. Using Current Population Survey data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the author focuses especially on the unprecedented 2.7 percentage point decline in women’s participation rate between 2000 and 2005. While changes in the observed behavior of educated women and in characteristics such as the number of young children have contributed to the decline, the results suggest that the largest contributors have been unobserved changes. From a policy perspective, the presence of unobservables is not very satisfying or informative. Nonetheless, the large role of unobservables in determining labor force participation rates suggests that a rebound to participation rates seen in 2000 is not obviously forthcoming or likely to be easily predictable. The next step in studying these trends, the author believes, is further investigation of how labor force participation decisions are made in a family context and how these decisions have changed over time. ; From a policy perspective, the presence of unobservables is not very satisfying or informative. Nonetheless, the large role of unobservables in determining labor force participation rates suggests that a rebound to participation rates seen in 2000 is not obviously forthcoming or likely to be easily predictable. The next step in studying these trends, the author believes, is further investigation of how labor force participation decisions are made in a family context and how these decisions have changed over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2006. "Changes in behavioral and characteristic determination of female labor force participation, 1975-2005," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q 2, pages 1-20.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedaer:y:2006:i:q2:p:1-20:n:v.91no.2
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.frbatlanta.org/filelegacydocs/erq206_hotchkiss.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrew Bauer & Robert A. Eisenbeis & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2003. "Forecast evaluation with cross-sectional data: The Blue Chip Surveys," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q2, pages 17-31.
    2. Donald L. Kohn & Brian P. Sack, 2003. "Central bank talk: does it matter and why?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-55, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the business cycle changed?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 9-56.
    4. Michael Woodford, 2005. "Central bank communication and policy effectiveness," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 399-474.
    5. Robertson, John C & Tallman, Ellis W, 2001. "Improving Federal-Funds Rate Forecasts in VAR Models Used for Policy Analysis," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(3), pages 324-330, July.
    6. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2006. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 54-81, March.
    7. Robert A. Eisenbeis & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2002. "Evaluating Wall Street Journal survey forecasters: a multivariate approach," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2002-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    8. John C. Robertson & Ellis W. Tallman, 1999. "Vector autoregressions: forecasting and reality," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q1, pages 4-18.
    9. repec:pri:cepsud:110sims is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Michael Ehrmann, 2006. "Central bank communication," Research Bulletin, European Central Bank, vol. 5, pages 2-5.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Robert A. Moffitt, 2012. "The U.S. Employment-Population Reversal in the 2000s: Facts and Explanations," Economics Working Paper Archive 604, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    2. James Vere, 2007. "“Having it all” no longer: Fertility, Female Labor supply, and the new life choices of Generation x," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 44(4), pages 821-828, November.
    3. Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2009. "Changes in the aggregate labor force participation rate," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    4. Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2009. "Decomposing changes in the aggregate labor force participation rate," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2009-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    5. Macunovich, Diane J., 2009. "Reversals in the Patterns of Women's Labor Supply in the U.S., 1976-2009," IZA Discussion Papers 4512, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts & Fernando Rios-Avila, 2012. "A closer look at nonparticipants during and after the Great Recession," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2012-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    7. Robert A. Moffitt, 2012. "The Reveral of the Employment-Population Ratio in the 2000s: Facts and Explanations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 45(2 (Fall)), pages 201-264.
    8. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts & Mary Beth Walker, 2010. "Assessing the impact of education and marriage on labor market exit decisions of women," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2010-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Women - Employment;

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedaer:y:2006:i:q2:p:1-20:n:v.91no.2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Meredith Rector). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbatus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.