Latin American Urban Trends in Female Contribution to Household Income during the Late Twentieth Century

Carolina Flores, University of Texas at Austin
Lissette Aliaga Linares, University of Texas at Austin
Bryan Roberts

Many researchers have shown that the widespread structural reforms to the Latin American economies in the 1990s resulted in a deterioration of Latin American labor markets. The resulting increase in informal labor arrangements occurs at a time when female labor force participation is increasing among married or cohabiting women. Our aim is to examine changes in the contribution of these females to household budgets and how it is influenced by individual and household characteristics. We use cross section data from comparable surveys in seven Latin America’s cities to explore trends from 1990 to 2000. Our results suggest that Latin American women participating in the labor force are consolidating their roles as income providers even in household arrangements in which their caregivers’ role, as mothers of young children, have traditionally produced an opposite trend. The differences between cities in the nature and determinants of participation diminish at the end of the decade.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Migration, Income, Employment, Neighborhoods and Residential Context