The Persistence of Female Labor Supply: Empirical Evidence and Implications
Previous research has shown that female hours of work are very persistent over women's lifetimes-that women tend to be either workers or nonworkers. This paper uses PSID data from 1967 to 1987 to examine changes in persistence over time. The overall finding is that there is little change in persistence because as women entered the labor force in greater numbers they tended to become continuous workers, replacing continuous nonworkers. Among older women, spells of reduced hours are now less prolonged (holding constant a fixed effect). Among young women, the persistence of hours has increased slightly over time, and patterns of employment now appear to develop prior to marriage and continue into the married years.
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