IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Labor Force Participation and Educational Attainment in the United States


  • Joseph S. Falzone

    () (Peirce College)


Abstract The objectives of this paper are twofold. Aggregate labor force participation rates in the United States are described focusing on educational attainment. A model is developed for decomposing aggregate labor force participation rates for men and women from 1994 to 2014 from a unique perspective by focusing on changes in educational attainment and on changes in the labor force behavior. The findings presented here indicate that men’s aggregate labor force participation rates declined during the 20-year period at all levels of educational attainment, due primarily to changes in population shares. A different picture emerges regarding women. For women with high school or some college or associate degree, it was changes in labor force behavior that dominated changing aggregate labor force participation rates. For women with the lowest and highest levels of educational attainment, less than high school or at least a baccalaureate degree, it was changes in their population shares that drove changes in aggregate labor force participation rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph S. Falzone, 2017. "Labor Force Participation and Educational Attainment in the United States," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 23(3), pages 321-332, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:iaecre:v:23:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11294-017-9646-8
    DOI: 10.1007/s11294-017-9646-8

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tammy Schirle, 2008. "Why Have the Labor Force Participation Rates of Older Men Increased since the Mid-1990s?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 549-594, October.
    2. Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2009. "Changes in the aggregate labor force participation rate," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    3. Bruce C. Fallick & Jonathan F. Pingle, 2006. "A cohort-based model of labor force participation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-09, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US), revised 2006.
    4. Richard Chapman & Kevin Duncan & Jerry Gray, 1998. "Mixing Welfare and Work: Evidence from the PSID, 1980-87," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 51-62, Winter.
    5. David M. Blau & Ryan M. Goodstein, 2010. "Can Social Security Explain Trends in Labor Force Participation of Older Men in the United States?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(2).
    6. Riccardo DiCecio & Michael T. Owyang & Christopher H. Wheeler & Kristie M. Engemann, 2008. "Changing trends in the labor force: a survey," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue jan, pages 47-62.
    7. Willem Van Zandweghe, 2012. "Interpreting the recent decline in labor force participation," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue qi, pages 5-34.
    8. Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2009. "Decomposing changes in the aggregate labor force participation rate," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2009-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Labor force participation; Labor market; Demographic trends;

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure


    Access and download statistics


    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:kap:iaecre:v:23:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11294-017-9646-8. 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: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.