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Female Labor Supply: Why is the US Falling Behind?

Author

Listed:
  • Blau, Francine D.

    () (Cornell University)

  • Kahn, Lawrence M.

    () (Cornell University)

Abstract

In 1990, the US had the sixth highest female labor participation rate among 22 OECD countries. By 2010, its rank had fallen to 17th. We find that the expansion of "family-friendly" policies including parental leave and part-time work entitlements in other OECD countries explains 28-29% of the decrease in US women's labor force participation relative to these other countries. However, these policies also appear to encourage part-time work and employment in lower level positions: US women are more likely than women in other countries to have full time jobs and to work as managers or professionals.

Suggested Citation

  • Blau, Francine D. & Kahn, Lawrence M., 2013. "Female Labor Supply: Why is the US Falling Behind?," IZA Discussion Papers 7140, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7140
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alan Manning & Barbara Petrongolo, 2008. "The Part-Time Pay Penalty for Women in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(526), pages 28-51, February.
    2. Eleonora Matteazzi & Ariane Pailhé & Anne Solaz, 2012. "Part-time wage penalties in Europe: A matter of selection or segregation?," Working Papers 250, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    3. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2003. "Understanding International Differences in the Gender Pay Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 106-144, January.
    4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 285-317.
    5. Elena Bardasi & Janet Gornick, 2008. "Working for less? Women's part-time wage penalties across countries," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 37-72.
    6. Waldfogel, Jane, 1998. "The Family Gap for Young Women in the United States and Britain: Can Maternity Leave Make a Difference?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 505-545, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor supply; gender;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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