Declining Labor Force Participation in the USA

Published: 2018
Project ID: UM18-Q2


We will produce a comprehensive review of literature investigating the causes of the recent decline in the age-adjusted labor force participation rate. The review will include works from the academic literature as well as the gray literature from research institutes and labor market experts. We will include published and unpublished studies. The review will only include articles that aim to quantify the impact of one or more factors, either through statistical or econometric analysis, or economic modeling. There may be several competing potential causes of the decline in labor force participation, and some subpopulations may have additional or different determinants of their labor force participation rates. Therefore, we will systematically summarize existing explanations and estimations in the literature. We will divide the evidence presented in these studies in broad groups of theories/factors. For each of these, we will analyze and assess the strength of the evidence presented.