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Essays on Women's Labor and Politics in U.S. History

Arnsbarger, Madison Kurr and UNSPECIFIED (2024) Essays on Women's Labor and Politics in U.S. History. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation consists of three essays that contribute to the fields of labor economics, political economy, and economic history. Chapter 1 studies the effect of women's participation in World War I labor markets on the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. I contribute a novel dataset charting growth of wartime industries by gender between 1917 and 1918. Congressmen and enfranchised men in places with larger shifts of women into wartime labor markets were more likely to support women's suffrage rights. Chapter 2 addresses the impact of the Civil War on women's labor force participation and political mobilization in the late nineteenth century. Using randomness in the battle intensity experienced by individual soldiers, we show that war-induced disabilities caused wives and daughters of disabled veterans to enter the labor force at higher rates. Places with higher disability rates formed chapters of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and passed related policy at higher rates. Chapter 3 considers the effect of parental death in the Civil War on children's labor and marriage market outcomes. We show that daughters of deceased veterans married earlier and lower quality partners than daughters of surviving veterans. Daughters of deceased veterans also married earlier than their brothers, suggesting a gendered response to destabilizing negative economic events in childhood, arising from disparate access to labor markets and inherited wealth.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Arnsbarger, Madison Kurrmadisonarnsbarger@gmail.commaa333@pitt.edu0000-0002-3201-7937
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairFerrara, Andreasa.ferrara@pitt.edu0000-0002-8141-6600
Committee CoChairShertzer, Allisonallison.shertzer@gmail.com0000-0002-1917-3337
Committee MemberBerkowitz, Danieldmberk@pitt.edu0000-0002-0146-5446
Committee MemberSalisbury, Lauralsalisbu@yorku.ca0000-0002-6942-5993
Date: 13 May 2024
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 2 April 2024
Approval Date: 13 May 2024
Submission Date: 1 March 2024
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 119
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Economics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: labor economics, political economy, economic history
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 13 May 2024 13:44
Last Modified: 13 May 2024 13:44

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