This research was partially supported by National Science Foundation Grant SES 87-13817. An earlier version was presented at the 1993 meeting of the Southern Regional Science Association. Four anonymous referees and Luc Anselin, Brian Cushing, Stuart Dorsey, Ronald Lewis, Sally Maggard, and Dennis Robinson made exceptionally helpful suggestions.
Geographical and Gender Differences in Labor Force Participation: Is there an Appalachian Effect?
Article first published online: 3 JUL 2006
Growth and Change
Volume 24, Issue 4, pages 539–578, October 1993
How to Cite
ISSERMAN, A. M. and REPHANN, T. J. (1993), Geographical and Gender Differences in Labor Force Participation: Is there an Appalachian Effect?. Growth and Change, 24: 539–578. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2257.1993.tb00137.x
- Issue published online: 3 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 3 JUL 2006
ABSTRACT. A recent article in this journal concluded that West Virginia's low labor force participation rates cannot be attributed to economic, demographic, or institutional factors and that they probably result from an Appalachian culture which has a strong preference for non-market activities. This article reviews the diverse social science literature on determinants of labor force participation and then takes a closer look at Appalachian participation. It presents and uses a more comprehensive model, focuses on the county level instead of the state, and examines variations within Appalachia and over time. The main findings are that the Appalachian labor force gap is either nonexistent or very small and that there is no statistical evidence of a unique or pervasive Appalachian cultural effect. Appalachian labor force behavior appears to be quite average given the conditions faced by Appalachians.