NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Female Labor Force and Long-Run Development: The American Experience in Comparative Perspective

Claudia Olivetti

Chapter in NBER book Human Capital in History: The American Record (2014), Leah Platt Boustan, Carola Frydman, and Robert A. Margo, editors (p. 161 - 197)
Conference held December 7-8, 2012
Published in October 2014 by University of Chicago Press
© 2014 by the National Bureau of Economic Research

This paper provides additional evidence on the U-shaped relationship between the process of economic development and women's labor force participation. The experience of the United States is studied in a comparative perspective relative to a sample of rich economies observed over the period 1890-2005. The analysis confirms the existence of a U-shaped female labor supply function, coming from both cross-country and within country variation. Further analysis of a large cross section of economies observed over the post-WWII period suggests that the timing of a country's transition to a modern path of economic development affects the shape of women's labor supply.

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This paper was revised on May 6, 2016

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.7208/chicago/9780226163925.003.0006

This chapter first appeared as NBER working paper w19131, The Female Labor Force and Long-run Development: The American Experience in Comparative Perspective, Claudia Olivetti
Commentary on this chapter: Comment, Francine D. Blau
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