Economics & Sociology

ISSN: 2071-789X eISSN: 2306-3459 DOI: 10.14254/2071-789X
Index PUBMS: f5512f57-a601-11e7-8f0e-080027f4daa0
Article information
Title: Economic growth and female labor force participation – verifying the U-feminization hypothesis. New evidence for 162 countries over the period 1990-2012
Issue: Vol. 8, No 1, 2015
Published date: 20-05-2015 (print) / 20-05-2015 (online)
Journal: Economics & Sociology
ISSN: 2071-789X, eISSN: 2306-3459
Authors: Ewa Lechman
Harleen Kaur
Keywords: women, female labor force, feminization, U-shaped curve, economic growth
DOI: 10.14254/2071-789X.2015/8-1/19
Index PUBMS: 1ec4ecba-aa13-11e7-8eae-080027f4daa0
Language: English
Pages: 246-257 (12)
JEL classification: J21, O10, O50

The paper contributes by providing new insights into the relationship between female labor force and eco- nomic growth in 162 world countries over the period 1990- 2012. It was hypothesized that an analysis would reveal a U-shaped relationship between female labor force partici- pation and economic growth. The analysis is run from two different perspectives – in the first, the relationship is exam- ined for a sample encompassing 162 countries; and in the second – the evidence is disaggregated and the relationship is re-examined within four income-groups (low-income, lower-middle-income, upper-middle-income and high-in- come). To examine these relationships, data on female la- bor force participation and per capita income are extracted from the World Development Indicators 2013 database, and the relationship is examined by deploying panel data analysis assuming non-linearity between variables. The main findings support the hypothesis of the U-shaped relation- ship between female labor force participation and economic growth, however high cross-country variability on the field is reported. Moreover, the U-shaped feminization hypoth- esis was not positively verified in the case of low-income countries.