Changing Labor Force and Economic Growth in Post-Industrial Taiwan: The Importance of Incorporating a Gender Perspective

Chen-Hao Hsu , Academia Sinica

How demographic transition influences economic development? Using population statistics in economic activities cross-classified by age, sex, and education, this article integrates a standardized decomposition approach into a production formula to explore the role of compositional change in labor forces for economic growth in post-industrial Taiwan (1993-2016). With an emphasis on gender-varying trends in labor force participation rates during a period of educational expansion, this article argues that the increase in female labor force participation rates, driven both by a compositional shift to a higher-educated female population and by a surge in education-specific participation rates, has been a crucial factor in Taiwan’s economic growth since 1993. With emerging gender equality in human capital, successful integration of women into labor forces could be the key to economic development in post-industrial East Asian societies.

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 Presented in Session 8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, & Inequality