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European women: why do(n't) they work?

[journal article]

Genre, Veronique; Gomez-Salvador, Ramon; Lamo, Ana

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Abstract To increase labour market participation is a major challenge currently faced by the EU, and attracting women into the labour force appears as a promising avenue to do so. Therefore, a clear understanding of what the factors influencing the evolution of female participation rates are in Europe is essential for a successful design of policy measures aiming at increasing participation rates. This paper provides empirical evidence on the role that institutions have played in determining participation rates of women in the European labour markets. Our findings discard any doubt on the influence of institutions on women's participation in Europe. The strictness of labour market institutions negatively affects female participation rates. We also find that institutional features aimed at reconciling motherhood with professional life such as maternity leave schemes and part-time work favour participation rates of prime-age women. Additionally, fertility rates and education enrolment have been relevant for the evolution of participation rates during the sample period considered for prime-age and young females respectively, while cohort effects drive the developments of older females.
Classification Labor Market Research; Women's Studies, Feminist Studies, Gender Studies
Free Keywords labour force participation; labour market institutions
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 1499-1514
Journal Applied Economics, 42 (2010) 12
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)