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Female Labor Force Participation: An International Perspective


  • Psacharopoulos, George
  • Tzannatos, Zafiris


In most economies women are less attached than men to the labor force. This has important implications for development. This article examines definitions and theories of female labor supply and relates them to statistical evidence from 136 countries in the early 1980s. The findings support the view that, during the transformation from an agrarian subsistence economy, the participation of women in the labor force initially decreases and picks up later after a critical level of development has been achieved. Education is seen as a potential booster of the officially recorded female labor supply in developing countries. Copyright 1989 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Psacharopoulos, George & Tzannatos, Zafiris, 1989. "Female Labor Force Participation: An International Perspective," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 4(2), pages 187-201, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:4:y:1989:i:2:p:187-201

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hammer, Jeffrey S, 1997. "Prices and Protocols in Public Health Care," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(3), pages 409-432, September.
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    11. Anand, S. & Hanson, K., 1995. "Disability-Adjusted Life Years: A Critical Review," Economics Series Working Papers 99174, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    12. Germano Mwabu & Martha Ainsworth & Andrew Nyamete, 1993. "Quality of Medical Care and Choice of Medical Treatment in Kenya: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(4), pages 838-862.
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