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The Missing Men: World War I and Female Labor Participation

Victor Gay () and Jörn Boehnke

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: We explore the effect of military fatalities from World War I on female labor participation in post-war France. We build a unique dataset containing individual level information for all 1.3 million fallen soldiers, and find that the tightness of the marriage market along with negative income shocks generated by the scarcity of men induced many young single women and older widows to enter the labor force permanently after the war, especially in the industrial sector. These findings are robust to alternative empirical strategies, including an instrumental variables strategy based on idiosyncrasies generated by the recruitment process of the army.

Keywords: female labor; labor supply; sex ratio; marriage market (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J12 J16 J22 N34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-his and nep-lab
Date: 2017-01-21
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pra:mprapa:77560

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