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European women: Why do(n't) they work?

  • Genre, Véronique
  • Gómez-Salvador, Ramón
  • Lamo, Ana

This paper provides an empirical study of the determinants of female participation decisions in the European Union. The analysis is performed by estimating participation equations for different age groups (i.e. young, prime-age and older females), using annual data for a panel of 12 EU-15 countries over the period 1980-2000. Our findings show that the strictness of labour market institutions negatively affects the participation rate. Decisions linked to individual preferences with regards to education or fertility are also found relevant to participation of the youngest and prime-age females respectively. The inclusion of a proxy to capture cohort effects is crucial in order to explain the oldest females’ participation. JEL Classification: J21

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0454.

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Date of creation: Mar 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20050454
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  1. Florence Jaumotte, 2003. "Female Labour Force Participation: Past Trends and Main Determinants in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 376, OECD Publishing.
  2. Belot, Michèle & van Ours, Jan C., 2000. "Does the Recent Success of Some OECD Countries in Lowering their Unemployment Rates Lie in the Clever Design of their Labour Market Reform?," IZA Discussion Papers 147, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment Updates and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C1-33, March.
  5. Giuseppe Bertola & Francine Blau & Lawrence Kahn, 2007. "Labor market institutions and demographic employment patterns," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 833-867, October.
  6. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Jul, pages 2-13.
  7. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  8. Luca Nunziata, 2002. "Unemployment, Labour Market Institutions and Shocks," Economics Series Working Papers 2002-W16, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  9. Angel de la Fuente & Rafael Dom?ech, 2002. "Human capital in growth regressions: how much difference does data quality make? An update and further results," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 537.02, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  10. Juan F. Jimeno & Diego Rodríguez-Palenzuela, 2003. "Youth Unemployment in the OECD: Demographic Shifts, Labour Market Institutions and Macroeconomic Shocks," Economics Working Papers 019, European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes.
  11. Sveinbjörn Blöndal & Stefano Scarpetta, 1999. "The Retirement Decision in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 202, OECD Publishing.
  12. Irene Ip & Sheryl King & Geneviève Verdier, 1999. "Structural Influences on Participation Rates: A Canada-U.S. Comparison," A Symposium on Canadian Labour Force Participation in the 1990s (Special Issue of Canadian Business Economics, Volume 7, Number 2, May 1999), in: Andrew Sharpe & Louis Grignon (ed.), A Symposium on Canadian Labour Force Participation in the 1990s (Special Issue of Canadian Business Economics, Volume 7, Number 2, May 1999), pages 25-41 Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
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