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Women's labour market participation interacting with macroeconomic growth and family policies

Abstract : This PhD thesis in economics shows that women's labour market participation, macroeconomic growth and familypolicies are closely linked to each other. Whereas there exists clear theoretical and empirical evidence that female labour market participation unambiguously promotes GDP growth, the inverse impact of GDP growth on female labour market participation is not as clear in the existing literature. While some economists assume a strictly positive impact of growth on female labour market participation, recent studies suggest that growth decreases female labour market participation at early stages of economic development and increases it at later stages only. The convex impact, also known as "feminisation U" hypothesis, has not yet been proven empirically, as existing time series and cross country studies do not offer precise results so far. I test the "feminisation U" hypothesis based on panel data that spans over 180 countries and over 40 years, which allows to adequately take into account endogeneity problems. The analysis confirms the "feminisation U" hypothesis and makes clear that simply relying on macroeconomic growth is not suffiecient to promote female labour market participation. Equalising institutions that explicitly promote women's, and especially mothers' labour market participation are necessary not only in developing but also in industrialised countries. Yet, the analysis shows further that in most European countries, the redistributive character of several family policy instruments risks discouraging mothers' labour supply. Hence, it is essential to create a set of coherent family policy instruments that manage to simultaneously prevent families from income poverty while encouraging women's employment and fertiliy at the same time.
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Angela Luci. Women's labour market participation interacting with macroeconomic growth and family policies. Economics and Finance. Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, 2009. English. ⟨tel-00638278⟩

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