The quality of women's employment around the globe

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The quality of women's employment around the globe

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Considering women's increased levels of employment globally, this project addresses a crucial question: When, if ever, is women's increased employment linked to women getting good jobs? Extensive research shows that women-friendly policies at the national level and national integration into the global economy increase women's employment. However, it is unclear if either or both of these factors are linked to the quality of women's employment. This dissertation research argues that the way women are incorporated into the labor force is critical in determining if increased female labor force participation is linked to women's representation in higher status positions. This dissertation research integrates global and national policy theories to examine their implications on the quality of women's employment, utilizing quantitative pooled time-series analyses on women's relative chances to be employed in two higher-status occupational groups--managerial/administrative and professional/technical occupations. As key independent variables, original indicators of anti-discrimination and maternity leave policies that are comparable across developed and developing countries are created. This study not only provides a crucial test of those theories that suggest women's increased labor force participation leads to women's employment in high quality jobs and those that suggest the opposite, but also explains the factors that make one or the other outcome more likely. This research also advances sociological theories about the links between globalization, state policies, and actual employment outcomes on the ground by integrating state-centered and global theories of women's employment and testing the scope of theories in both developed and developing countries.This research finds that women's employment policies are important to the quality of women's employment, particularly in developing countries, as well as the levels of gender prejudice. Then, I discuss academic and policy implications of the main findings. The cross-national, historical research design makes findings from this project particularly applicable to diverse national contexts.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. October 2012. Major: Sociology. Advisor: Elizabeth Heger Boyle. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 187 pages, appendices 1-2.

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Kim, Min Zee. (2012). The quality of women's employment around the globe. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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