A welfare state paradox: State interventions and women's employment opportunities in 22 countries

Hadas Mandel*, Moshe Semyonov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

396 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study explores the role played by the welfare state in affecting women's labor force participation and occupational achievement. Using data from 22 industrialized countries, the authors examine the consequences of state interventions for both women's employment patterns and gender inequality in occupational attainment. The findings reveal a twofold effect: developed welfare states facilitate women's access into the labor force but not into powerful and desirable positions. Specifically, nations characterized by progressive and developed welfare policies and by a large public service sector tend to have high levels of female labor force participation, along with a high concentration of women in female-typed occupations and low female representation in managerial occupations, The findings provide insights into the social mechanisms underlying the relations between welfare states' benefits to working mothers and women's participation and achievements in the labor market.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1910-1949
Number of pages40
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
Volume111
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2006

Funding

FundersFunder number
National Science Council
Department of Health, Australian Government
National Health Research Institutes
National Taiwan University Hospital

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