The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Female Labour Force Participation: Persistence and Evolution

  • Paola Giuliano
Reference work entry


This article explores the relevance of deep historical forces that have influenced the historical gender division of labour and the perception of women’s roles in society more generally. In particular, we will review how different types of subsistence activity in the ancient past – such as hunting and gathering and various types of agricultural technology – and geography and language can affect the role of women and their relative bargaining positions up to modern times. Finally, we will review the relevance of mechanisms such as learning, in contrast to deep historical forces, to explain the evolution of female labour force participation.


Beliefs Culture Female labour force participation Gender roles Values 

JEL Classification

D03 J16 N30 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paola Giuliano
    • 1
  1. 1.