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


This chapter is a preliminary draft unless otherwise noted. It may not have been subjected to the formal review process of the NBER. This page will be updated as the chapter is revised.

Chapter in forthcoming NBER book Human Capital in History: The American Record, Leah P. Boustan, Carola Frydman, and Robert A. Margo, editors
Conference held December 7-8, 2012
Forthcoming from University of Chicago Press

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 November 21, 2013

Acknowledgments

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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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