Female labour force participation (FLFP) increased significantly in the 20th century. Nevertheless, there are persisting spatial differences in FLFP. Using data from Germany, this paper demonstrates that regional differences in the degree of industrialization in the 1920s explain spatial variation in FLFP at that time and almost 100 years later. The latter finding is not explained by persisting industry structures. Additionally, there is evidence that regions with historically high FLFP have a higher social acceptance of working women. Together these results suggest that policies to increase FLFP should account for the historical context of each region.
- female labour force participation
- regional labour markets
- GENDER-ROLE ATTITUDES