Female Labour Force Participation in the United Kingdom: Evolving Characteristics or Changing Behaviour?

Bank of England Working Paper No. 221

30 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2005

Date Written: June 2004

Abstract

The working-age female participation rate in the United Kingdom increased by 7 percentage points between 1984 and 2002. The purpose of this paper is to quantify how much of the rise reflects changes in the socio-demographic structure of the female population and how much can be attributed to changes in behaviour or other uncontrolled factors. The paper uses a time series of cross-sections from the Labour Force Survey, and applies a method of growth accounting. The results show that, between 1984 and 2002, changes in the structure of the female population contributed to two thirds of the growth in female participation, whereas one third is explained by changes in behaviour or other factors.

Keywords: Female participation, probit

JEL Classification: J10, J21

Suggested Citation

Gutierrez-Domenech, Maria and Bell, Brian, Female Labour Force Participation in the United Kingdom: Evolving Characteristics or Changing Behaviour? (June 2004). Bank of England Working Paper No. 221, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=641221 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.641221

Maria Gutierrez-Domenech

La Caixa ( email )

Av Diagonal 629
Barcelona, 08028
Spain

Brian Bell (Contact Author)

Satoha Capital Management, LLP ( email )

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