Abstract

This paper provides a multidisciplinary review of research aimed at explaining the substantial differences in women's employment trajectories that still exist within and across countries. It covers research that emphasizes economic and normative rationalities in women's employment decisions and work that focuses more on the structural constraints to women's employment. It discusses recent research developments—conceptual and methodological advances—and based on the identification of central research gaps and methodological challenges, it indicates avenues for future research. Finally, the paper casts a critical view on the ‘explanatory power’ of contemporary research on women's employment and discusses appropriate research designs for the evaluation of policy effects on women's employment.

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