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For Better or for Worse: The Long-Term Effects of Postwar Reconstruction on Family Formation

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  • Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude

    ()
    (Dalhousie University)

  • Khamis, Melanie

    ()
    (Wesleyan University)

  • Yuksel, Mutlu

    ()
    (Dalhousie University)

Abstract

This paper provides causal evidence on the long-term legacies of postwar reconstruction and mandatory employment on women's family formation outcomes such as marriage, age at first marriage and divorce. We exploit city-by-cohort variation in the intensity of World War II reconstruction in Germany which determined the mobilization of women in the postwar era. We find that participation in the postwar reconstruction efforts increased the female's probability of being currently and ever married and marrying at younger ages. We also find that postwar mandatory employment had no differential effect on the divorce rates among the affected cohorts of women. These results are robust to the potential changes in the population composition, household income and demand for female labor and state-specific policies in postwar Germany.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7239.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7239

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Keywords: postwar reconstruction; mandatory employment; marriage research;

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  1. Nidhiya Menon & Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, 2010. "War and Women’s Work: Evidence from the Conflict in Nepal," Working Papers 19, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
  2. Claudia Goldin & Claudia Olivetti, 2013. "Shocking Labor Supply: A Reassessment of the Role of World War II on U.S. Women’s Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 18676, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude, 2009. "Children of War: The Long-Run Effects of Large-Scale Physical Destruction and Warfare on Children," IZA Discussion Papers 4407, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. David A. Jaeger & Holger Bonin & Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2007. "Direct Evidence on Risk Attitudes and Migration," Working Papers 50, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  5. Rainer, Helmut & Siedler, Thomas, 2009. "O brother, where art thou? The effects of having a sibling on geographic mobility and labour market outcomes," Munich Reprints in Economics 19784, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Daron Acemoglu & David H. Autor & David Lyle, 2004. "Women, War, and Wages: The Effect of Female Labor Supply on the Wage Structure at Midcentury," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 497-551, June.
  7. Shemyakina, Olga N., 2011. "The labor market, education and armed conflict in Tajikistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5738, The World Bank.
  8. Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude & Khamis, Melanie & Yuksel, Mutlu, 2011. "Rubble Women: The Long-Term Effects of Postwar Reconstruction on Female Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 6148, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Goldin, Claudia D, 1991. "The Role of World War II in the Rise of Women's Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 741-56, September.
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