Gender, crisis and the welfare state: Female labor market outcomes across OECD countries

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Series Details Vol.16, No.3, May 2018, p434-463
Publication Date May 2018
ISSN 1472-4790 (print) 1740-388X (online)
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The 2008 global economic crisis has had profound social and economic consequences across states. In addition to cross-national social and economic disparities, the crisis generated increased domestic divisions between labor market insider and outsider groups. This article analyzes the impact of the global economic crisis on female workers across advanced welfare states.

While considerable attention has been given to the impact of the Great Recession on financial markets and employment sectors, we argue that the crisis had an important gendered effect across advanced capitalist states that remains significantly underexplored. In particular, we examine the divergent ways in which distinct welfare systems and their cultural underpinnings shape labor market access and levels of social protection for women.

In this endeavor, we integrate literature on welfare systems, feminist political economy and financial crisis to examine the relationship between social protection structures, cultural legacies and gender inequalities – which manifests most strongly during times of economic crisis. Our hierarchical panel model of 28 countries across 7 years is supplemented by cultural and survey data.

Our findings not only give an important analysis of an understudied aspect of the global economic crisis, but also provide policy implications for more gender-conscious crisis management responses going forward.

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