Summary of Female Labor Supply and Why Women Need to Be Included in Economic Models


Female Labor Supply and Why Women Need to Be Included in Economic Models summary

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In the United States, women make up 49% of the workforce, contribute 44% of hours worked and take home 37% of income. Yet they’re missing from most economists’ modeling of labor markets and therefore from considerations of social, educational and labor policies. According to economists Mariacristina De Nardi and Sharada Dharmasankar, standard models are too distorted to accurately assess the impacts of wide-ranging government programs and overall economic disruptions on female workers. getAbstract recommends this insightful study to economists, public officials and business executives of all genders.

About the Authors

Mariacristina De Nardi is a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, where Sharada Dharmasankar is an associate economist.


Although women maintain a substantial presence in the US labor force, the government crafts critical rules for Social Security, taxes and welfare benefits based solely on the experiences of men. Excluding women from standard economic models skews policy guidelines and produces a distorted picture of lifetime work patterns, earnings, labor hours and participation rates. An adequate data representation of women in models would enable more accurate analyses of responses to government actions.  

Studying the patterns of labor force entry and exit for ...

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