The Determinants of Female Labor Force Participation: Evidence From Aggregated and Disaggregated Panel Data of Developing Countries

The Determinants of Female Labor Force Participation: Evidence From Aggregated and Disaggregated Panel Data of Developing Countries

Banu Demirhan (Afyon Kocatepe University, Turkey) and Erdal Demirhan (Afyon Kocatepe University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6912-1.ch017

Abstract

The female labor participation is recently considered as one of the factors leading to economic development in developing countries by amplifying total labor force as qualitative and quantitative. In this study, the authors investigate the factors affecting female labor participation in developing countries, applying panel data model for 83 developing countries over the period of 1990-2014. Empirical results indicate that u-shaped and incompatibility hypotheses are valid in the developing countries. Additionally, improving education levels and increasing male participation in labor markets lead women to more participate in labor markets. These results show the importance of enhancing education level and therefore the policies towards providing it.
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Literature On The Determinants Of Female Labor Force Participation

Reviewing the literature, we find that the studies investigating the determinants of FLFP mainly focus on various factors. According to Shah and Al-Qudsi (1990), they are divided into two groups that are background and intervening. Background factors consist of demographic and socio-cultural ones, influencing the supply factors, and intervening factors consist of supply and demand ones. While socio-cultural factors include protective norms, non-desirability of specific jobs, and status considerations; demographic ones include age, family size, age of youngest child, marital status, household headship, and family type. Supply factors consist of husband’s income, occupation, and income, which are related to husbands, and women’s education, skill level, and motivation to work are the main ones, which are related to women. The availability of child care and attractiveness of jobs can also be considered as the variables including in the supply factors. The demand factors affecting FLFP include the variables related to the demand for female workers such as rate and character of economic development, the size of the informal sector, discrimination against the female employment, and regulations about wages and sex discrimination in hiring. In this study, considering the factors explained above, we select the variables used in the econometric models, which can be accounted for as follows:

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