ECON 323 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Income Tax, Opportunity Cost, Civil Rights Act Of 1964

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Published on 5 Oct 2015
Econ 323-9.10.15
Changes in US legal environment
oIn a series of changes in state laws in the 19th century, married women
gained the right to own property and control the fruits of their labor
oWith industrialization, states began to pass laws controlling women’s
employment in order to “protect” them. Such laws were controversial and
were often struck down until 1908 when the U.S. Supreme Court held in
Muller v Oregon that they were constitutional
Ex. Couldn’t work at night
oIn 1920, the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution gave women the
right to vote
oIn 1964, Title VII of the civil rights act outlawed discrimination in most
aspects of employment
Women’s participation in paid labor force
oWomen have always worked, the big change is in the location of women’s
work, and whether they receive pay for their work
Before the 20th century, most women’s work was unpaid work in the
home and as part of family farms or businesses
The past century has seen a rapid increase in participation by
women in market work for pay. This increase has been especially
rapid since WWII
Most of the growth in women’s labor force participation is caused
by married women (including married women with young children)
who have increasingly joined, and maintained their attachment to
the labor force
Since 2000, women’s labor force participation has declined slightly
– but even a small decline is noticeable
Men’s participation in paid labor force
oPrior to the middle of the 20th century, nearly all American men were labor
force participants throughout their lives
Before the 20th century, many men worked as part of family farms or
Over time, the share who worked as employees increased
Since the middle of the 20th century, overall male labor force
participation has declined substantially. Most of this decline is
concentrated among the old and the young. The biggest reason for
this is the rise of formal retirement. For younger men, the increased
time devoted to education results in this. This mainly occurs on the
extremes of the age distribution.
The last 20 years has seen a small decrease in labor force
participation by men aged 25-54 (91.6% in 1995 to 88.4% in 2013)
Are men married to women that have better jobs more likely to buy
themselves more freedom? – economists ask
Marriage, Families & Labor Force Participation
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