Abhay Aneja and colleagues reveal that daughters of civil servants who were more exposed to female co-workers during WWI were significantly more likely to work. For each standard deviation increase in exposure to female co-workers, the gender gap in labor force participation for children narrowed by over 4 percentage points. This represents a 9% decline in the average labor force participation gap. Importantly, these effects were

  • Driven by increased labor force participation of daughters (sons are unaffected)
  • Strongest for children who, at the time of exposure, were teenagers
  • Present even for children who moved away from their parents’ original city

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