Effects of economic development, trade dependency, and debt on women's share of the labor force: A cross-national study
AuthorMiller, Carol Diana
Committee ChairBergesen, Albert
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis is a cross-national study of determinants of women's share of the labor force. Previous research suggests that national rates of female share of the labor force are affected by economic development and international trade. Economic development has been linked to increased education opportunities for women, decreased fertility rates and increased gross national product per capita. These effects of economic development were suggested to improve women's economic opportunities. Some studies have focussed on the effects of foreign trade and finance on cross-national variations in female labor force participation rates. World-system researchers have recommended changes in methods and theory that suggest that the determinants of female labor force participation need to be reexamined. By using statistical methods recently introduced to cross-national research, as well as more recent data, I have tested hypotheses suggested by previous research for the decade of the 1980's. Specifically, previous research suggested that economic development increases and international trade generally decreases women's share of the labor force. This period was a tumultuous time in the world-economy. Many countries experienced debt crises and many attempted economic restructuring by focusing on exports of manufactured commodities instead of raw materials and agricultural goods. I have tested for the effects of these changes on changes in women's share of the labor force using data from the 60 countries for which data were available. Lowered fertility rates increased women's share of the labor force in the 1980's, but that was the only modernization indicator that had an effect. The proportion of a country's revenues obtained from exports affected women's share of the labor force, but this effect varied by levels of commodity concentration and exports in manufactured products. As commodity concentration increased, the positive effect of exports became less positive. As manufactured exports became a bigger proportion of all of a countries exports, the positive effect of exports as a source of a country's revenues on women's share of the labor force became more positive. Debt servicing and debt restructuring was not found to have an effect on women's share of the labor force in the 1980's.
Degree ProgramGraduate College