Work and Power: The Connection Between Female Labor Force Participation and Female Political Representation


Iversen, Torben, and Frances Rosenbluth. 2008. “Work and Power: The Connection Between Female Labor Force Participation and Female Political Representation.” Annual Review of Political Science 11 (1): 479–95.

Authors: Torben Iversen, Frances Rosenbluth


Mainstream political economy has tended to treat the family as a unit when examining the distributional consequences of labor market institutions and of public policy. In a world with high divorce rates, we argue that this simplification is more likely to obscure than to instruct. We find that labor market opportunities for women, which vary systematically with the position of countries in the international division of labor and with the structure of the welfare state, affect women’s bargaining power within the family and as a result, can explain much of the cross country variation in the gender division of labor as well as the gender gap in political preferences.

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Balance, Governance, Elections, Households, Political Participation

Year: 2008

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