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American Economic Review: Vol. 103 No. 3 (May 2013)

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

Article Citation

Goldin, Claudia, and Claudia Olivetti. 2013. "Shocking Labor Supply: A Reassessment of the Role of World War II on Women's Labor Supply." American Economic Review, 103(3): 257-62.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.257

Abstract

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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Authors

Goldin, Claudia (Harvard U)
Olivetti, Claudia (Boston U)

JEL Classifications

J16: Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
J22: Time Allocation and Labor Supply
N32: Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy: U.S.; Canada: 1913-
N42: Economic History: Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation: U.S.; Canada: 1913-


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