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Male-biased Demand Shocks and Women’s Labor Force Participation: Evidence from Large Oil Field Discoveries

Author

Listed:
  • Stephan E. Maurer

    () (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz and Centre for Economic Performance)

  • Andrei V. Potlogea

    () (University of Edinburgh)

Abstract

Do male-biased demand shocks affect women’s labor force participation? To study this question, we examine large oil field discoveries in the US South from 1900-1940. We find that oil wealth has a zero net effect on female labor force participation due to two opposing channels. Oil discoveries increase demand for male labor in oil mining and manufacturing and consequentially raise male wages. This leads to an increased marriage rate of young women, which could have depressed female labor force participation. But at the same time, oil wealth also increases demand for women in services, which counterbalances the marriage effect and leaves women’s overall labor force participation rate unchanged. Our findings demonstrate that when the nontradable sector is open to women, male-biased de-mand shocks in the tradable sector need not reduce female labor force participation.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephan E. Maurer & Andrei V. Potlogea, 2017. "Male-biased Demand Shocks and Women’s Labor Force Participation: Evidence from Large Oil Field Discoveries," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2017-08, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  • Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1708
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Stephan E. Maurer, 2018. "Oil Discoveries and Education Spending in the Postbellum South," CEP Discussion Papers dp1526, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    oil; structural transformation; female labor force participation; gender pay gap;

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • N50 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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