Great Depression and the Rise of Female Employment: A New Hypothesis

37 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2019

See all articles by Andriana Bellou

Andriana Bellou

University of Montreal

Emanuela Cardia

University of Montreal - Center for Research and Development in Economics

Abstract

The cohorts of women born at the turn of the 20th century increased markedly their participation in the labor market when older. These are the first cohorts who worked after their childbearing years. In this paper, we document a link between their work behavior and the Great Depression. We show that the 1929 Crash attracted young women 15 to 34 years old in 1930 (whom we name D-cohort) into the labor market, possibly via an added-worker effect. Using several years of Census micro data, we further document that the same cohort remained or re-entered the labor market in the 1940s and 1950s and that its entire life cycle labor supply is tightly linked to the conditions dating back to the Great Depression. We argue that these facts are consistent with the hypothesis of a labor supply shift for this cohort triggered by the 1929 Crash.

Keywords: Great Depression, added worker effect, female labor supply

JEL Classification: J21, N32, J01

Suggested Citation

Bellou, Andriana and Cardia, Emanuela, Great Depression and the Rise of Female Employment: A New Hypothesis. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12024. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3318798

Andriana Bellou (Contact Author)

University of Montreal ( email )

Emanuela Cardia

University of Montreal - Center for Research and Development in Economics ( email )

Montreal, Quebec H3T 1B9
Canada

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