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

By: Goldin, Claudia D.
Olivetti, Claudia

URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc%3Ahrv%3Afaseco%3A13041327&r=ltv

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.

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