Employment of Women and Demand-Side Forces

Donna K. Ginther and Chinhui Juhn
Working Paper 2001-12
May 2001

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Using the 1964–95 March Current Population Surveys and the 1940–90 Census, this paper examines the relationship between female employment growth and changes in labor demand. Specifically, the authors examine whether industrial change and changes in labor demand can account for both the acceleration and deceleration of female employment growth across the decades as well as the pattern of biased growth in favor of more skilled women. They find that labor demand proxies are successful in accounting for the pattern of biased growth but are less successful in accounting for the overall acceleration of female employment, particularly in the 1970s.

JEL classification: J16, J21

Key words: female employment, labor demand

This paper was prepared for the “Developments in the Labor Market for Women” CSWEP session of the American Economic Association Meetings held in Chicago in January 1998. The authors thank Theresa Devine, Solomon Polachek, and an anonymous referee for helpful comments. The views expressed here are the authors’ and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta or the Federal Reserve System. Any remaining errors are the authors’ responsibility.

Please address questions regarding content to Donna K. Ginther, Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 104 Marietta Street, N.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-2713, 404-498-7009, donna.ginther@atl.frb.org, or Chinhui Juhn, Department of Economics, University of Houston, Houston, Texas 77204-5882, 713-743-3823, cjuhn@uh.edu.