Female Labour Force Participation: Past Trends and Main Determinants in OECD Countries
67 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2013
Date Written: December 12, 2003
This paper examines the determinants of female labour force participation in OECD countries, including a number of policy instruments such as the tax treatment of second earners (relative to single individuals), childcare subsidies, child benefits, paid maternity and parental leaves, and tax incentives to sharing market work between spouses. The econometric analysis uses a panel data set covering 17 OECD countries over the period 1985-1999, and distinguishes between part-time and full-time female participation rates. It shows a positive impact on female participation of a more neutral tax treatment of second earners (relative to single individuals), stronger tax incentives to share market work between spouses, childcare subsidies, and paid maternity and parental leaves Unlike childcare subsidies, child benefits reduce female participation due to an income effect and their lump-sum character. Finally, female education, the general labour market conditions, and cultural attitudes remain major determinants of female participation.
Keywords: Economics of gender, Labor force and employment, Female labor force participation
JEL Classification: H21, H31, H50, J13, J16, J21, J22
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