Labor Force Participation and the Emergence of the “Career Woman” Women's Roles
This chapter evaluates women's wages, labor force participation, and occupational choice. Married women's labor force participation increased more in that twenty-year period than in the preceding seventy-five years combined. The emergence of the “career woman” in the absence of financial inducements is also explained. The strong feminist movement of the late 1960s and 1970s was largely responsible for changing attitudes, together with a general disillusionment with the role of housewife. Declining fertility decreased the significance of women's role in the home, making labor force participation more attractive. Lower marriage rates appear to increase the average labor force participation rate of young women. Women who can “afford” to, who are married and have children, are beginning to choose to work part time rather than full time. It appears that women still value family and will use additional earnings to “buy back” time with family.
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