What’s up with the decline in female labor force participation?
This paper determines that the weaker positive pull of education into the labor market and weaker labor market conditions are the observed factors that contributed the most to the decline in the labor force participation rate (LFPR) between 2000 and 2004 among women ages 25–54. As is typical, however, unobserved factors contributed more than any single or combination of observed factors. Furthermore, if the unemployment rate rebounded to its level in 2000, the LFPR would still be 1.4 percentage points lower than it was in 2000.
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