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Occupations after WWII: The Legacy of Rosie the Riveter

Author

Listed:
  • Bellou, Andriana

    () (University of Montreal)

  • Cardia, Emanuela

    () (University of Montreal)

Abstract

WWII induced a dramatic increase in female labor supply, which persisted over time, particularly for women with higher education. Using Census micro data we study the qualitative aspects of this long term increase through the lenses of the occupations women held after the war. Almost two decades after its end, we find that WWII had lasting, albeit complex but interesting effects on the occupational landscape. It led to a significant increase in the presence of young women, who were of working age at the time of the war, in manufacturing and professional/managerial occupations, while it entailed a decrease in the presence of older cohorts in clerical. Though differently, the effects surprisingly extended to the next generation of women who were too young to be working at the time of the war. For this cohort, the increase was concentrated in clerical and manufacturing. The entry of this very young cohort in clerical jobs and the exit of the older, suggests within-gender crowding-out; the increased presence of both cohorts in manufacturing, that the legacy of the wartime Rosies permeated occupational choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Bellou, Andriana & Cardia, Emanuela, 2013. "Occupations after WWII: The Legacy of Rosie the Riveter," IZA Discussion Papers 7615, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7615
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Claudia Goldin & Claudia Olivetti, 2013. "Shocking Labor Supply: A Reassessment of the Role of World War II on Women's Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 257-262, May.
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    5. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709.
    6. Claudia Goldin, 2006. "The Quiet Revolution That Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 1-21, May.
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    9. Matthias Doepke & Moshe Hazan & Yishay D. Maoz, 2015. "The Baby Boom and World War II: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(3), pages 1031-1073.
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    19. repec:hrv:faseco:30703972 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthias Doepke & Moshe Hazan & Yishay D. Maoz, 2015. "The Baby Boom and World War II: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(3), pages 1031-1073.
    2. Christoph Eder, 2014. "Missing Men: World War II Casualties and Structural Change," NRN working papers 2014-03, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    3. Gay, Victor & Boehnke, Jörn, 2017. "The Missing Men: World War I and Female Labor Participation," MPRA Paper 77560, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Victor Gay, 2017. "The Legacy of the Missing Men: The Long-Run Impact of World War I on Female Labor Force Participation," 2017 Papers pga905, Job Market Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    WWII; occupations;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • N42 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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