Institutional drivers of female labour Force participation in OECD countries
This paper analyses the response of female labour force participation to changes in labour markets and policies supporting the reconciliation of work and family life, with country-level data from the early 1980s for 18 OECD countries. It includes an original analysis of interactions and complementarity between different policy measures, as well as of potential variations in the influence of policies across different family policy regimes. The results highlight that while employment rates react to changes in tax rates and in leave policies, increased provision of formal childcare services to working parents with children below three years old is a key policy driver of female labour force participation. The coverage of childcare services is found to have a greater effect on women's labour market participation in countries with relatively high levels of employment protection, longer paid leave, and with other measures supporting working mothers. In all, it suggests that policy measures securing the labour market participation of women with young children interact with each other to maximise their overall effect on employment rates.
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