Fueling the Gender Gap? Oil and Women's Labor and Marriage Market Outcomes

CEP Discussion Paper No 1280

57 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2014

See all articles by Stephan Maurer

Stephan Maurer

Department of Economics, University of Konstanz

Andrei Potlogea

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Department of Economics and Business (DEB)

Date Written: June 18, 2014

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effect of resource-based economic specialization on women's labor market outcomes. Using information on the location and discovery of major oil fields in the Southern United States coupled with a county-level panel derived from US Census data for 1900-1940, we specifically test the hypothesis that the presence of mineral resources can induce changes in the sectoral composition of the local economy that are detrimental to women's labor market outcomes. We find evidence that the discovery of oil at the county level may constitute a substantial male biased demand shock to local labor markets, as it is associated with a higher gender pay gap. However, we find no evidence that oil wealth lowers female labor force participation or has any impact on local marriage and fertility patterns. While our results are consistent with oil shocks limiting female labor market opportunities in some sectors (mainly manufacturing), this effect tends to be compensated by the higher availability of service sector jobs for women who are therefore not driven out of the labor market.

Keywords: oil, structural transformation, female labor force participation, gender pay gap

JEL Classification: R1, N5, O1, J1

Suggested Citation

Maurer, Stephan and Potlogea, Andrei, Fueling the Gender Gap? Oil and Women's Labor and Marriage Market Outcomes (June 18, 2014). CEP Discussion Paper No 1280, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2471000 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2471000

Stephan Maurer (Contact Author)

Department of Economics, University of Konstanz ( email )

Box D124
Konstanz, BW 78457
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/stephanernstmaurer/

Andrei Potlogea

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Department of Economics and Business (DEB) ( email )

Barcelona, 08005
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/andreipotlogeaupf/

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