Labor-force reentry among U.S. homemakers in midlife: A Life-Course Analysis

Phyllis Moen, Niall Bolger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Guided by a life-course perspective, this article uses data from 11 waves of the Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine the influence of human capital, family structure, and local labor-market demand variables on the reentry into the labor force of midlife homemakers in the United States in the 1970s. By looking at two contiguous time periods, the first and last halves of the 1970s, it investigates how the influence of these factors varied with social changes in the job-opportunity structure for women in the United States during the 1970s, a time when the service sector expanded and public approval of married women's employment rose. We found that the likelihood of reentry varied with education, age, and marital status, as well as time period. These findings suggest the need for a model of the labor-force reentry of homemakers in midlife that takes account of historical period as well as the distinctive realities of women's lives in middle adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-243
Number of pages14
JournalGender & Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1990

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Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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