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American Economic Review: Vol. 103 No. 3 (May 2013)

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Female Labor Supply: Why Is the United States Falling Behind?

Article Citation

Blau, Francine D., and Lawrence M. Kahn. 2013. "Female Labor Supply: Why Is the United States Falling Behind?" American Economic Review, 103(3): 251-56.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.251

Abstract

In 1990, the US had the sixth highest female labor participation rate among 22 OECD countries. By 2010 its rank had fallen to seventeenth. We find that the expansion of "family-friendly" policies, including parental leave and part-time work entitlements in other OECD countries, explains 29 percent 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.

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Authors

Blau, Francine D. (Cornell U)
Kahn, Lawrence M. (Cornell U)

JEL Classifications

J16: Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
J22: Time Allocation and Labor Supply
J32: Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Private Pensions


American Economic Review


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