Life-Cycle Labor-Force Participation of Married Women: Historical Evidence and Implications
The seven-fold increase, since 1920, in the labor force participati on rate of married women was not accompanied by a substantial increase in average work experience among employed married women. Two data sets, giving life-cycle labor-force histories for cohorts of women born from the 1880s to 1910s, indicate considerable (unconditional) heterogeneity in labor-force participation. Employed married women had substantial attachment to their jobs; increased participation brought in women with little prior work experience. Average work experience among cross sections of employed married women increased from 9.1 to 10.5 years over the 1930-50 period. Implications for "wage discrimination" are discussed. Copyright 1989 by University of Chicago Press.
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