NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Preference Formation and the Rise of Women's Labor Force Participation: Evidence from WWII

Raquel Fernandez, Alessandra Fogli, Claudia Olivetti

NBER Working Paper No. 10589
Issued in June 2004
NBER Program(s):   EFG   LS   LE

This paper presents intergenerational evidence in favor of the hypothesis that a significant factor explaining the increase in female labor force participation over time was the growing presence of men who grew up with a different family model--one in which their mother worked. We use differences in mobilization rates of men across states during WWII as a source of exogenous variation in female labor supply. We show, in particular, that higher WWII male mobilization rates led to a higher fraction of women working not only for the generation directly affected by the war, but also for the next generation. These women were young enough to profit from the changed composition in the pool of men (i.e., from the fact that WWII created more men with mothers who worked). We also show that states in which the ratio of the average fertility of working relative to non-working women is greatest, have higher female labor supply twenty years later.

download in pdf format
   (440 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10589

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Fernández, Fogli, and Olivetti w9234 Marrying Your Mom: Preference Transmission and Women's Labor and Education Choices
Goldin w3203 The Role of World War II in the Rise of Women's Work
Fernández w13373 Culture as Learning: The Evolution of Female Labor Force Participation over a Century
Goldin w11953 The Quiet Revolution that Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family
Mincer Labor Force Participation of Married Women: A Study of Labor Supply
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us