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Economic Review

Sep/Oct, 1989

The Changing Labor Force: Some Provocative Findings

William E. Cullison

Female labor force participation rates have been rising rapidly since 1950 while male participation rates (especially for males 55 years and older) have been falling over much of that time. Analysis of participation rates also indicates (1) that the Reagan administration’s reductions in marginal tax rates after 1981 had no apparent influence on labor force participation; and (2) that the effects of the so-called discouraged worker effect on labor force participation have been relatively weak.

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