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Male-biased Demand Shocks and Women’s Labor Force Participation: Evidence from Large Oil Field Discoveries

Stephan Maurer and Andrei V. Potlogea ()
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Andrei V. Potlogea: University of Edinburgh

No 2017-08, Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz from Department of Economics, University of Konstanz

Abstract: Do male-biased demand shocks affect women’s labor force participation? To study this question, we examine large oil field discoveries in the US South from 1900-1940. We find that oil wealth has a zero net effect on female labor force participation due to two opposing channels. Oil discoveries increase demand for male labor in oil mining and manufacturing and consequentially raise male wages. This leads to an increased marriage rate of young women, which could have depressed female labor force participation. But at the same time, oil wealth also increases demand for women in services, which counterbalances the marriage effect and leaves women’s overall labor force participation rate unchanged. Our findings demonstrate that when the nontradable sector is open to women, male-biased de-mand shocks in the tradable sector need not reduce female labor force participation.

Keywords: oil; structural transformation; female labor force participation; gender pay gap (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R11 N50 J12 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene, nep-gen and nep-lab
Date: 2017-09-19
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