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The Role of Agricultural and Female Labor Mobility in Taiwan's Industrialization
Feb 01, 1996
Alec R. Levenson



The period 1976-1991 in Taiwan was one of rapid economic growth. During this time agricultural employment fell from 29 to 13 percent of the work force, while the employment rate for prime age females increased from 43 percent to 55 percent. The former numbers suggest widespread net movements of labor out of agriculture. In reality the vast increase in nonagricultural jobs was filled by new labor market entrants, not by net transfers of labor from the agricultural sector.

Some women from agricultural households gave up farming for jobs in manufacturing, however their role in fueling the industrial labor boom was dwarfed by the employment increases for women from nonagricultural households.