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WOMEN'S RISING MARKET OPPORTUNITIES AND INCREASED LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION

Authors

  • Karen V. Lombard

    1. Senior Economist, Economic Analysis LLC, Los Angeles, Calif., Phone I-310–556-0709 Fax 1–3 10-556–0766 E-mail Klombard@econanalysis.com
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    • *I would like to thank Alison Butler, Michael Connolly, Dora Costa, Alphonse Holtmann, Chinhui Juhn, Kevin M. Murphy, Philip K. Robins, Elaine Reardon, Alexander Taber, participants in the University of Miami workshop series and attendees of the Population Association of America Conference in San Francisco for helpful comments. Two anonymous referees and the editor made useful suggestions. I gratefully acknowledge financial support from the University of Miami General Research Support Award and the James W. McLamore Summer Awards in Business and Social Sciences.


Abstract

This paper examines the secular increase in the labor market activity of married women in the United States from 1975 to 1991. The research stresses two findings consistent with the hypothesis that married women increased their attachment to the labor force during this time period. First, increasing duration, not incidence, of married women's employment spells contributes the most to the increase in their rate of employment from 1975 to 1991. Second, the increase in married women's employment over the 1980s is largely due to their increased willingness to work more at any given wage, not their rising wage opportunities. (JEL J22, J31, J64)

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