沙龙主题：《Women in the Labor Market: Cohort Effects, Period Effects, and Life-Course Effects upon Women’s Employment in the United States, 1975-2002》
Using data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), General Social Survey (GSS), and government statistics, this dissertation investigates the factors that led to the historical transformation of women’s employment in the United States during 1975-2002.Employing Tobit models within the Age-Period-Cohort analytical framework, I demonstrate that there are strong life-course effects, period effects, and cohort effects upon American women’s employment during the period examined.
I find that, for single childless women, there are only cohort effects but almost no period effects upon their employment. Such cohort effects can be explained by their educational attainment and relative cohort size. Unlike the patterns of single childless women, the historical transformation of single mothers’ employment is due to the period effects which can be accounted for mainly by their educational attainment and the fluctuation of the unemployment rates over time. For married women, there are both strong period effects and cohort effects and a large share of these effects can be explained by educational attainment, hourly wage, unemployment rates, relative cohort size, and husband’s annual incomes. Besides these factors, two other factors that contribute to the changes of married women’s employment are relative female labor demand (which explains the period effects) and shifts in attitudes towards women’s roles (which explains the cohort effects).
Using the most updated data, my findings shed light on the representative theories in sociology and economics that explain women’s increasing employment. Therefore, my dissertation contributes to the field by advancing our understandings of the historical changes of American women’s employment for the last 30 years. I suggest that future study should devote more efforts to the studies on married women’s employment since it is a more complicated process with more profound implications for changes of the American society.