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Explaining variation in female labour force participation across Eastern Europe: The political economy of industrial upgrading and service transition.

Avlijaš, Sonja (2015) Explaining variation in female labour force participation across Eastern Europe: The political economy of industrial upgrading and service transition. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

This thesis proposes a theoretical model to explain the variation in female labour force participation (FLFP) across post-socialist Eastern Europe. The model is then tested empirically on 13 post-socialist Eastern European countries during the period 1997- 2008 using a combination of quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Embedded in insights from economics and comparative political economy literature, my theoretical model moves beyond linear causal relationships and suggests how different components of post-socialist economic restructuring in Eastern Europe have affected one another and have translated into specific FLFP outcomes. The model specifies the following three components: industrial upgrading, educational expansion and growth of knowledge intensive services and theorises their relationship to each other and to FLFP as the dependent variable. The model suggests that those countries that embarked on the trajectory of economic development driven by re-industrialisation and industrial upgrading created a vicious cycle for FLFP. This took place because industrial upgrading that was driven by foreign direct investment led to the defeminisation of manufacturing. Such a trajectory of economic restructuring also shaped these countries’ education policies and impeded the development of knowledge intensive services, which would have been more conducive to female employment. The virtuous cycle of FLFP, on the other hand, occurred in those Eastern European countries that turned to reforming their educational sector towards general skills and expansion of tertiary education, with the aim of transforming themselves into knowledge economies. Such a transformation required an active social investment state and growth of knowledge-intensive public and private sector employment, which provided greater employment opportunities for women. This development path created a positive causal loop for FLFP.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2015 Sonja Avlijaš
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > European Institute
Supervisor: Ashwin, Sarah and Bartlett, Will
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3341

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