Theoretical and empirical evidence of female labour force participation rates in LDCs : a cross cultural comparison.
This study presents a cross-cultural analysis of female labour force
participation rates (FLFPR's) -a crucial ingredient of the development
and growth process - by evaluating the underlying determinants of high
and low FLFP within and across countries. Selecting a sample of West
Indian women (from Jamaica, Dominica, Guyana, Barbados and St. Kitts)
and Asian women (viz. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) and . extending
it to the West Indian and Asian immigrants in the U. K., this study
provides an analysis of women of diversified origin, demographic,
socio-economic and cultural background. This enables us to draw
implications for women in the migratory process by identifying the
variation in FLFPR's and their determinants in rural, urban and
acvanced (UK) urban states.
The wide range applications of regression techniques to the FLFP function
reveals the significance of various determinants generally contended to
increase/decrease FLFP. The main factors identified are: demography,
fertility, education, level of development, organization of industry/
agriculture, child-care facilities, historical forces, culture and religion.
Findings indicate how culture in the West Indies has promoted FLFP
(though deteriorated women's status) but depressed Asian FLFP.
However, it is suggested that where socio-cultural and religious
forces dominate, these can be outweighed by providing-greater accomodative
opportunities, where the latter encourage women to adopt a
working role within the surrounding socio-cultural and fertility
constraints. Since there are more of such opportunities in rural areas, it is observed that the rural rates will be higher than the urban rates.
Examining immigrant women their high FLFPR's seem to emerge from the
dominance of favourable post-migration characteristics and surroundings
as compared to the pre-migration characteristics.
Also, this study attempts to compare the performance of alternative techniques for estimating the labour supply function, such as LOGIT
and TSLS. However, the conclusions emerging from use of these
techniques are very similar to those obtained by OLS