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Shocking Labor Supply: A Reassessment of the Role of World War II on Women's Labor Supply

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  • Goldin, Claudia D.
  • Olivetti, Claudia

Abstract

The most prominent feature of the female labor force across the past hundred years is its enormous growth. But many believe that the increase was discontinuous. Our purpose is to identify the short- and long-run impacts of WWII on the labor supply of women who were currently married in 1950 and 1960. Using WWII mobilization rates by state, we find a wartime impact on weeks worked and the labor force participation of married white (non-farm) women in both 1950 and 1960. The impact, moreover, was experienced almost entirely by women in the top half of the education distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Goldin, Claudia D. & Olivetti, Claudia, 2013. "Shocking Labor Supply: A Reassessment of the Role of World War II on Women's Labor Supply," Scholarly Articles 13041327, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:13041327
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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 741-756, September.
    3. Casey B. Mulligan, 1998. "Pecuniary Incentives to Work in the United States during World War II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 1033-1077, October.
    4. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N42 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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