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The Feminization U

Douarin, Elodie; Uberti, Luca J; (2023) The Feminization U. In: Zimmermann, Klaus F, (ed.) Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics. (pp. 1-30). Springer: Cham, Switzerland.

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The feminization U, which describes the tendency of female labor force participation (FLFP) to first decline and then rise as per capita income grows, is a well-known “stylized fact” of economic development. Empirical studies have documented this pattern using cross-country, time series, subnational, and, most recently, panel data. Overall, the evidence confirms the existence of a U-shaped relationship between per capita GDP and female labor supply, at least for an important subset of countries. The theoretical literature has also described several mechanisms from which a U-shaped relationship may arise. In particular, the U-curve has been linked to structural change, fertility dynamics, and to variation in the gender gap in education levels along the process of economic development. Some recent contributions have highlighted important heterogeneities in the income path of FLFP: whether each of these three mechanisms is operative depends on initial conditions – specifically, the gender-role cultural norms that prevail as an economy embarks on the process of economic development. Accordingly, the income path of FLFP has been shown to be more or less U-shaped depending on initial conditions.

Type: Book chapter
Title: The Feminization U
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-57365-6_432-1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57365-6_432-1
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > SSEES
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10162713
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