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Gender Roles and Medical Progress

Stefania Albanesi () and Claudia Olivetti ()

No 2015-002, Working Papers from Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group

Abstract: Maternal mortality was the second largest cause of death for women in childbearing years up until the mid-1930s in the United States. For each death, twenty times as many mothers were estimated to suffer pregnancy related conditions, often leading to severe and prolonged disablement. Poor maternal health made it particularly hard for mothers to engage in market work. Between 1930 and 1960 there was a remarkable reduction in maternal mortality and morbidity. We argue that these medical advances, by enabling women to reconcile work and motherhood, were essential for the joint rise in married women's labor force participation and fertility over this period. We also show that the diffusion of infant formula played an important auxiliary role.

Keywords: maternal mortality; female labor force participation; fertility; baby boom; human capital (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I15 J13 J22 N30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-hea, nep-his, nep-hme, nep-lab, nep-lma and nep-mfd
Note: M
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http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Albane ... les-medical-prog.pdf First version, January 2015 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Gender Roles and Medical Progress (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Gender roles and medical progress (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Gender Roles and Medical Progress (2009) Downloads
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