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Declining U.S. Labor Force Participation Rates Stand Out

April 2018

Alexander W. Richter, Daniel Chapman and Emil Mihaylov

Abstract: Male and female prime-age labor force participation rates have declined in the U.S. at a faster rate than in most developed countries over the past 20 years, even among people with a college degree. Stark differences in health outcomes, incarceration rates, and labor market, maternity and child-care policies provide potential explanations for the disproportionate participation-rate decline.

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