Female labour force participation in Australia : a new appraisal

Davison, Tony R. (1989). Female labour force participation in Australia : a new appraisal Honours Thesis, School of Economics, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Davison, Tony R.
Thesis Title Female labour force participation in Australia : a new appraisal
School, Centre or Institute School of Economics
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1989
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Total pages 161
Language eng
Subjects 14 Economics
Formatted abstract       The emergence of the womens' movement during the 1960's and 1970's has led to a renewed interest in the study of women in the economy. One aspect of this which is examined in this thesis is the area of female labour force participation. This topic is of particular interest as there has been a steady increase in female participation rates during the period mentioned. The thesis finds that the reasons for this trend are quite complex, and explanations of it involve both sociological factors as well as economic factors.

      In attempting to explain the phenomenon of increased labour force participation by females this thesis reassesses the methods of analysis traditionally used to examine the topic. This is done in two main ways. The first involves an appraisal of the economic approaches to the topic, including a consideration of the neoclassical, institutionalist, Marxist and radical contributions to the area. As a result of this reappraisal it is found that a radical institutionalist approach might best explain the phenomenon. The second topic given consideration is whether it might be preferable to examine the issue from a non-economic perspective, this analysis leads to the conclusion that in some areas a socioeconomic approach which incorporates elements of the radical institutionalist and neoclassical approaches yields the better results.

      In order to substantiate the theoretical findings of this paper an analysis is made of female labour force participation in Australia over the last 10 years and the results are compared with a number of OECD countries. The paper isolates a number of major influences on participation and indicates ways in which a study of these factors might allow a predictive model of labour force participation to be constructed. It is noted that much work needs to be done to evaluate the model and to bring it to operational status, but the initial work done here appears to be promising.

 
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