The dynamics of female labour force participation: How family policy influences women's work behaviour
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- Department of Geography 
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 thesis uses system dynamics to investigate how various aspects of UK family policy operate and how inefficient policies keep the level of female labour participation from rising to the desired level. 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 outcome of the model suggests that the rising cost of childcare has too quickly outgrown the subsidies meant to stabilize the system in the past. This affects families with varying income levels and number of children differently. This thesis provides insight into family policy dynamics in the UK with a systems perspective that is lacking in the literature. In addition it also adds to system dynamics literature by providing an example of how system dynamics can be used to investigate issues related to gender and equality which is a research area where system dynamics has rarely been applied.