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Women’s Work Histories


Rosenfeld, Rachel A. (1996). Women's Work Histories. Population and Development Review, 22(Suppl.), 199-222.


One of the most striking trends in the post-World War II United States (as in many other industrialized countries) is the increase in women's labor force participation. Along with higher labor market involvement have come changes in when, throughout their lives, women are employed. Since the 1970s, the literature on women and work has grown enormously and includes a number of good reviews (e.g., Blau and Ferber, 1992; England, 1992; Goldin, 1990; Reskin and Padavic, 1994; Weiner, 1985). Much of this literature assumes implicitly or explicitly that it is primarily family responsibilities, especially care of young children, that limit when and where
women work. Research on the types of jobs women hold sometimes assumes that "female" jobs have characteristics that make them compatible with motherhood and that "flexible" jobs are predominantly held by women, so that they can shape their employment around their work for the family and home.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Population and Development Review


Rosenfeld, Rachel A.