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A new look at gender effects in participation and occupation choice

Research output: Working paper


Publication date2000
Place of publicationLancaster University
PublisherThe Department of Economics
Original languageEnglish

Publication series

NameEconomics Working Paper Series


The growth in female labour participation and occupational attainment represents the most dramatic feature of labour markets in the second half of the twentieth century. This has been due in part to developments in social attitudes and the consequent changes in the prices attached to women's characteristics, and in part to changes in those characteristics themselves. This paper analyses these issues by constructing models of participation and occupational choice for the years 1970 and 1990, and then by evaluating which participation and occupation regimes would have been selected by respondents with the characteristics of women observed in 1970 had they faced the coefficients which obtained in 1990. It is established that changing prices accounts for a substantial part of the improvement in women's fortunes in the labour market. To provide a basis of comparison, the model is also estimated for men. Choices concerning occupational and labour market participation are modelled using both the standard multinomial