The Intergenerational Transmission of World War I on Female Labor

The effect of WWI military death rates on FLFP


Demographic shocks tied to World War I’s high death toll induced many women to enter the labor force in the immediate postwar period. I document a positive impact of these newly employed women on the labor force participation of subsequent generations of women until today. I also find that the war permanently altered attitudes toward the role of women in the labor force. I decompose this impact into three channels of intergenerational transmission: transmission from mothers to daughters, transmission from mothers-in-law to daughters-in-law via their sons, and transmission through local social interactions.

The Economic Journal, 133(654), 2303-2333
Victor Gay
Victor Gay
Assistant Professor of Economics

Assistant professor at Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) and at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST), University of Toulouse 1 Capitole.