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The Effects of Religion and Patriarchal Norms on Female Labor Force Participation

By Chidinma Hannah Nnoromele

This paper provides an empirical study of the influence of religion, religiosity, and patriarchal norms on female labor force participation across 40 countries. Using micro-level data from the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) 2012: “Family and Changing Gender Roles IV and macro-level data from World Bank Group’s Women, Business, and the Law 2012 database, the study examines religious and patriarchal aspects that influence female labor force participation among working women, ages 15 to 64. The analysis supports the hypothesis that more religious and socially conservative women are less likely to have paid work. However, the analysis, which examines ten different religions, finds that the specific religion a woman practices, excluding the cultural religions (Judaism and Hinduism), does not influence female labor force participation when controlling for national and environmental cultural factors. This suggests that a country’s institutions, socio-political context, and geographic cultural heritage matter in the way that religiosity is expressed in women’s economic participation.

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Advisor: Michael Munger, Michelle Connolly | JEL Codes: J1, D19, J21, J22

Variations in Turkey’s Female Labor Market: The Puzzling Role of Education

By Rachael Anderson

Although Turkey ranks among the world’s 20 largest economies, female labor force participation in Turkey is surprisingly low.  Relative to other developed countries, however, the proportion of Turkish women in senior management is high.  One explanation for these contrasting pictures of Turkey’s female labor force is education.  To better understand how women’s education and household characteristics explain variations in Turkey’s female labor market, I use annual Turkish Household Labour Force Survey data from 20042012 to estimate five probabilities: the likelihood that a woman (1) participates in the labor force, or is employed in an (2) agricultural, (3) blue collar, (4) lower white collar, or (5) upper white collar job.  I find that labor force participation is relatively high among female primary school graduates, who are most likely to work in agricultural and blue collar jobs.  Highly educated married women are the most likely group to participate in upper white collar jobs, and families favor sending single daughters over wives to work during periods of reduced household income.

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Advisor: Kent Kimbrough, Timur Kuran | JEL Codes: C51, J21, J23 | Tagged: Employment, Labor-force Participation, Occupation Women

The Implications of Population Aging for Economic Growth a Regional Comparative Study

By Paige Muggeridge

I use a reduced form regression model to determine the extent to which population aging accounts for economic growth in each of the nine regions of the world. Predominantly, I build upon the research of Bloom et al. (2010), which is central to formulating my regression equation. I separate the difference between each region’s average growth rate from the world average growth rate into demographic and non-demographic effects using the estimated coefficients. The results suggest that more economically developed regions have potentially benefited from population aging, while less economically developed regions have not.

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Advisor: Craig Burnside | Tagged: Economic Growth, Economic Policy, Labor-force Participation, Life Expectancy, Population Aging, Retirement Age

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