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

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  • Ager, Philipp
  • Brückner, Markus
  • Herz, Benedikt

Abstract

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 counties’ 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ager, Philipp & Brückner, Markus & Herz, Benedikt, 2014. "Effects of Agricultural Productivity Shocks on Female Labor Supply: Evidence from the Boll Weevil Plague in the US South," MPRA Paper 59410, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:59410
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nelly El-Mallakh & Mathilde Maurel & Biagio Speciale, 2016. "Arab Spring Protests and Women's Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the Egyptian Revolution," Working Papers hal-01309651, HAL.
    2. Nelly El-Mallakh & Mathilde Maurel & Biagio Speciale, 2015. "Arab Spring Protests and Women’s Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the Egyptian Revolution," Working Papers 957, Economic Research Forum, revised Oct 2015.
    3. Nelly EL MALLAKH & Mathilde MAUREL & Biagio SPECIALE, 2014. "Women and political change: Evidence from the Egyptian revolution," Working Papers P116, FERDI.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor Supply; Female Labor Force Participation; Agricultural Productivity Shocks; US South; Boll Weevil;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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