Women Working Longer: Facts and Some Explanations

59 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2016

See all articles by Claudia Goldin

Claudia Goldin

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Lawrence F. Katz

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 2016

Abstract

American women are working more, through their sixties and even into their seventies. Their increased participation at older ages started in the late 1980s before the turnaround in older men’s labor force participation and the economic downturns of the 2000s. The higher labor force participation of older women consists disproportionately of those working at full-time jobs. Increased labor force participation of women in their older ages is part of the general increase in cohort labor force participation. Cohort effects, in turn, are mainly a function of educational advances and greater prior work experience. But labor force participation rates of the most recent cohorts in their forties are less than those for previous cohorts. It would appear that employment at older ages could stagnate or even decrease. But several other factors will be operating in an opposing direction leading us to conclude that women are likely to continue to work even longer.

Suggested Citation

Goldin, Claudia and Katz, Lawrence F., Women Working Longer: Facts and Some Explanations (September 2016). NBER Working Paper No. w22607. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2835864

Claudia Goldin (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Lawrence F. Katz

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/katz/katz

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