Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The determinants of female labor supply in Italy, 1881-2018

Mancini, Giulia (2019): The determinants of female labor supply in Italy, 1881-2018.

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Abstract

This paper explores the determinants of female labor supply over the course of Italy’s post-unification history (1881-2018). It uses a newly constructed adjusted series of female labor force participation, disaggregated by region and major sector of activity. The panel dimension of the data is exploited to identify the relative importance of competing factors driving the U-shaped trend of female labor supply over the course of Italy’s modernization. We find that structural change (the reallocation of the workforce away from agriculture) plays a relevant, although not exclusive, role in the decreasing trend of female participation, but that the subsequent increase of female work is mostly due to within-industry changes, and not to the rise of the service sector. The current lag of Southern regions in terms of female labor force participation is the result of failed convergence in recent decades.

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