Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Carol Shiue


Previous research suggests that WWII induced a lasting increase in American female labor force participation. This paper explores if WWII influenced European female labor force participation in a similar way from 1940 to 1960. The analysis regresses changes in female labor force participation after the war, on changes in military mobilization rates for 17 European countries. The results show that the European female labor force participation growth rate decreased during the decade 1940-1950 and increased from 1940-1960. While these results are statistically significant and female specific, they are relatively small in magnitude. Within these changes were sectoral changes, primarily a decrease in white-collar growth for both time frames. The mechanisms for these changes most likely stem from a post-war baby boom and an increase in national education levels.