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

NBER Working Paper No. 19131
Issued in June 2013
NBER Program(s):   DAE   EFG

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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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19131

Forthcoming: The Female Labor Force and Long-run Development: The American Experience in Comparative Perspective, Claudia Olivetti. in Human Capital in History: The American Record, Boustan, Frydman, and Margo. 2014

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