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The Industrious Revolution And Labour Force Participation Of Rural Women: Evidence From Mid-Nineteenth-Century France

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses three questions by analyzing data describing the occupations of men and women in rural France in the middle of the nineteenth century. The questions include: (1) what proportion of rural women worked in mid-nineteenth-century France; (2) how participation rates varied by age, and the principal occupation of the families concerned; and (3) how sensitive labour force participation was to differences in family income and wages? The chapter reviews the current state of play with respect to the evolution of women's participation in the labour force in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. It then assesses the trustworthiness of the 1851 French census with respect to its occupational designations. Finally, the chapter reports the findings. Empirical studies of female labour supply in modern underdeveloped countries provide some further insight into the mechanics of an Industrious Revolution.

Keywords: France; industrious revolution; labour force participation; nineteenth century; rural women



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