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Occupations after WWII: The Legacy of Rosie the Riveter

  • Bellou, Andriana

    ()

    (University of Montreal)

  • Cardia, Emanuela

    ()

    (University of Montreal)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7615.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7615
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  1. Matthias Doepke & Moshe Hazan & Yishay D. Maoz, 2008. "The Baby Boom and World War II: A Macroeconomic Analysis," IEW - Working Papers 355, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2003. "Why the apple doesn't fall far: understanding intergenerational transmission of human capital," CeMMAP working papers CWP16/03, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Goldin, Claudia & Margo, Robert A, 1992. "The Great Compression: The Wage Structure in the United States at Mid-century," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 1-34, February.
  4. Paul J. Devereux & Sandra E. Black & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "Why the apple doesn't fall far : understanding intergenerational transmission of human capital," Open Access publications 10197/309, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  5. Claudia Goldin, 1990. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold90-1, Abril.
  6. Daron Acemoglu & David H. Autor & David Lyle, 2002. "Women, War and Wages: The Effect of Female Labor Supply on the Wage Structure at Mid-Century," NBER Working Papers 9013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. John Bound & Sarah Turner, 2002. "Going to War and Going to College: Did World War II and the G.I. Bill Increase Educational Attainment for Returning Veterans?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 784-815, October.
  8. 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.
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