Women's Opportunities under Different Constellations of Family Policies in Western Countries: Inequality Tradeoffs Re-examined
Women’s rising labor force participation since the 1960’s was long seen as heralding decreasing gender inequalities. According to influential social science writings this view has now to be revised; “women friendly” policies bringing women into the workforce are held to create major inequality tradeoffs between quantity and quality in women’s jobs. Unintendedly, such policies increase employer statistical discrimination and create glass ceilings impeding women’s access to influential positions and high wages. This paper re-examines theoretical and empirical bases in analysis of family policy effects on gender inequalities. Including capabilities as well as earnings in definitions of gender inequality, we improve possibilities for causal analyses by mapping institutional constellations of separate dimensions of family policies in Western countries. Reflecting conflicting political forces as well as religion, contrary to accepted assumptions of uni-dimensionality, family policies are multi-dimensional, with main distinctions favoring traditional families, mother’s employment, or market reliance. Using multilevel analyses and broad sets of outcome variables, we show that methodological mistakes largely invalidate earlier causal interpretations of major tradeoffs between quantity and quality in women’s labor force participation. Positive policy effects facilitate work-family reconciliation and combine women’s increased labor force participation with relatively high fertility. While major negative policy effects for women with tertiary education are difficult to find, family policies clearly differ in the extent to which they improve opportunities for women without university degrees.
|Date of creation:||15 Feb 2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (0)8 - 16 32 48
Fax: (0)8 - 15 46 70
Web page: http://www.sofi.su.se/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Francine D. Blau, 1996.
"The Gender Pay Gap,"
NBER Working Papers
5664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Albrecht, James & Björklund, Anders & Vroman, Susan, 2001.
"Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?,"
IZA Discussion Papers
282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Kenworthy, Lane, 2008. "Jobs with Equality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199550609, March.
- Sophia Rabe-Hesketh & Anders Skrondal, 2012. "Multilevel and Longitudinal Modeling Using Stata, 3rd Edition," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, edition 3, number mimus2, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:sofiwp:2011_002. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lena Lindahl)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.