Essay about Womens Role In The Economy

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Womens Role In The Economy

“The Transfer of Women’s Work from the Home to the Market”

“The transfer of women’s work from the household to commercial employment is one of the most notable features of economic development” (Lewis, Historical Perspectives on the American Economy P. 550).

In colonial America there was a distinct sexual division of labor. Men were property owners and heads of households. A man’s responsibilities included staple crop farming, hunting, and skilled craftsmanship in order to produce commodities for market (An Economic History of Women in America Pp. 30-33). Women were responsible for a variety of different jobs. In the home and the fields women ensured the survival of the family. They were
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547) Goldin takes the life cycle approach to understanding change in the economic role of married women. A change in one part of a woman’s life cycle can effect her employment in another. In taking this approach Goldin focused on three important factors that have effected the long-term changes in the economic role of white married women. One of these factors is cohort specific effects.

Goldin defines cohort specific effects as primarily predetermined effects such as education and fertility. Cohort specific effects are the most important factors that influenced how and at what point in a woman’s life cycle she participated in the labor force. Each cohort has been influenced in its decision to participate in the work force both by economic and social conditions at a particular date. Aspects of early socialization and training carried with it through time have also affected the cohorts. For every cohort born since 1855 participation in the labor force had increased within marriage, at least until age 55.

There are numerous factors that have had influence over the entrance of women in the labor market. These factors are the reason for the differentiation of one cohort’s work history from another. Of these numerous factors, three relate to each cohort’s early