The Causes and Consequences of Increased Female Education and Labor Force Participation in Developing Countries

Rachel Heath, Seema Jayachandran

NBER Working Paper No. 22766
Issued in October 2016, Revised in August 2017
NBER Program(s):Development Economics, Economics of Education, Labor Studies

Two important recent trends in most developing countries have are the rise in female labor force participation and the closing of gender gaps in school enrollment. This article begins by exploring the causes of the increases in female education, which include greater job availability and policy interventions that have promoted girls’ education. The article then explores the causes of increased female employment, which include a sectoral shift from “brawn-based” industries to services, as well as policies that have increased girls’ education. The article also discusses the effects of these increases in female education and labor supply, particularly for the well-being of women.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22766

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