Juni 2017

IZA DP No. 10830: Women Make Houses, Women Make Homes

published in: Labour Economics, 2017, 49, 145-161

This paper examines the persistent effects of historical labor market institutions and policies on women's long-term labor market outcomes. We quantify these enduring effects by exploring quasi-experimental variation in Germany's post-World War II mandatory reconstruction policy, which compelled women to work in the rubble removal and reconstruction process. Using difference-in-differences and instrumental variable approaches, we find that mandatory employment during the postwar era generated persistent adverse effects on women's long-term labor market outcomes. An increase in marriage and fertility rates in the postwar era and a physical and mental exhaustion associated with manual labor are some of the direct and indirect channels potentially explaining our results.