The different Italian and British contexts: the link to women’s employment patterns

Cristina Solera

in Women in and out of paid work

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9781861349309
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304319 | DOI:
The different Italian and British contexts: the link to women’s employment patterns

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Italy and Britain differ greatly in the level, type, and pattern of women's labour market participation, in their normative and institutional contexts, and in the way that these have changed from the 1950s to the 2000s. This chapter looks at changes in the potential determinants of women's employment behaviour. It starts by describing trends in female activity rates, in the overall and sectoral distribution of demand and in women's supply characteristics. It then outlines changing patterns of family formation and the explanations given for them, focusing on the Italian low participation/low fertility equilibrium. Subsequently, it discusses changes in welfare state policies and in labour market regulations, with specific reference to those dimensions affecting women's movements in and out of paid work. Finally, by drawing on the existing empirical literature, the chapter illustrates how in Italy, Britain, and other European countries, attitudes towards gender roles and behaviours with regard to the gendered division of domestic and care work have changed across cohorts.

Keywords: Italy; Britain; labour market participation; family formation; welfare state policies; labour market regulation; gender roles

Chapter.  18195 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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