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Women Working LongerIncreased Employment at Older Ages$
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Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226532509

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226532646.001.0001

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Understanding Why Black Women Are Not Working Longer

Understanding Why Black Women Are Not Working Longer

(p.85) 3 Understanding Why Black Women Are Not Working Longer
Women Working Longer

Joanna N. Lahey

University of Chicago Press

Black women in recent cohorts aged between 50 and 72 years have lower employment than similar white women, despite having had higher employment when they were middle-aged and younger. Earlier cohorts of older black women also worked more than their white counterparts. Although it is not surprising that white women’s employment should catch up to that of black women given trends in increasing female labor force participation, it is surprising that it should surpass that of black women. This chapter discusses factors that contribute to this differential change over time. Changes in education, marital status, home-ownership, welfare, wealth, and cognition cannot explain this trend, whereas changes in occupation, industry, health, and gross motor functioning may explain some of the trend.

Keywords:   aging, race, women, black labor supply, female labor supply, lifecycle labor supply

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