The Economics of Labor Force Participation
William G. Bowen & T. Aldrich Finegan


This comprehensive and detailed analysis of the factors that determine who is in the labor force in the United States is equally interesting for the light it sheds on what people are not working or seeking work-and why they are not. The effects on labor force participation rates of both individual characteristics (e.g. age, marital status, color, educational attainment) and labor market conditions (unemployment, earnings, industry mix) are analyzed for specific population groups: prime-age males, single women, married women, older persons, and younger persons. The book concludes with a discussion of the sensitivity of participation rates to the tightness of labor markets as revealed by both time-series and cross-sectional analyses.

First published in 1969.

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