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Women's Work and Working Women: The Demand for Female Labor

David A. Cotter, Joan M. Hermsen and Reeve Vanneman
Gender and Society
Vol. 15, No. 3 (Jun., 2001), pp. 429-452
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3081892
Page Count: 24
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Women's Work and Working Women: The Demand for Female Labor
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Abstract

The demand for female labor is a central explanatory component of macrostructural theories of gender stratification. This study analyzes how the structural demand for female labor affects gender differences in labor force participation. The authors develop a measure of the gendered demand for labor by indexing the degree to which the occupational structure is skewed toward usually male or female occupations. Using census data from 1910 through 1990 and National Longitudinal Sample of Youth (NLSY) data from 261 contemporary U.S. labor markets, the authors show that the gender difference in labor force participation covaries across time and space with this measure of the demand for female labor.

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