Abstract for: The dynamics of female labour force participation: how family policy influences womens work behaviour

Female labour force participation (FLFP) in the UK has stagnated in recent decades in spite of policies that have tried to increase the number of women in the labour force. This study investigates how various aspects of UK family policy operate to keep the level of female labour participation from rising. The system dynamics model developed to understand the dynamic behaviour of the system operationally indicates that there is a relationship between the labour supply of mothers and grandmothers due to the high costs of childcare in the UK. The preliminary outcome of the model suggests that the rising cost of childcare too quickly outgrows the subsidies meant to stabilize the system. This affects families with varying income levels and number of children differently. This study provides insight into family policy dynamics in the UK with a systems perspective that is lacking in the literature.