The Legacy of the Missing Men: The Long-Run Impact of World War I on Female Labor Force Participation

45 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2017 Last revised: 19 Apr 2019

See all articles by Victor Gay

Victor Gay

Toulouse School of Economics; Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse

Date Written: April 2019

Abstract

This paper explores the pathways that underlie the diffusion of women's participation in the labor force across generations. I exploit a severe exogenous shock to the sex ratio, World War I in France, which generated a large inflow of women in the labor force after the war. I show that this shock to female labor transmitted to subsequent generations until today. Three mechanisms of intergenerational transmission account for this result: parental transmission, transmission through marriage, and transmission through local social interactions. Beyond behaviors, the war also permanently altered beliefs toward the role of women in the labor force.

JEL Classification: J16, J22, N34, Z13

Suggested Citation

Gay, Victor, The Legacy of the Missing Men: The Long-Run Impact of World War I on Female Labor Force Participation (April 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3069582 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3069582

Victor Gay (Contact Author)

Toulouse School of Economics ( email )

Place Anatole-France
Toulouse Cedex, F-31042
France

HOME PAGE: http://victorgay.me

Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse ( email )

31015 Toulouse, Cedex 6
France

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