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Effects of Agricultural Productivity Shocks on Female Labor Supply: Evidence from the Boll Weevil Plague in the US South

Listed author(s):
  • Philipp Ager

    ()

    (University of Southern Denmark)

  • Markus Bruckner

    ()

    (National University of Singapore)

  • Benedikt Herz

    ()

    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

In the beginning of the 1890s, counties located in the Cotton Belt of the American South were hit by an agricultural plague, the boll weevil, that adversely affected cotton production and hence the demand for labor. We use variation in the incidence of the boll weevil multiplied with countiesÕ initial cotton share to construct instrumental variables estimates of the labor supply curve. Controlling for county and state-by-time fixed effects, we find a significant positive response of labor supply to changes in labor income. The effect is particularly large for females, consistent with evidence that females had a comparative advantage in picking cotton.

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File URL: http://www.ehes.org/EHES_68.pdf
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Paper provided by European Historical Economics Society (EHES) in its series Working Papers with number 0068.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2014
Handle: RePEc:hes:wpaper:0068
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.ehes.org

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