Gender Roles and Medical Progress [report]

Stefania Albanesi, Claudia Olivetti
2009 unpublished
The entry of married women into the labor force is one of the most notable economic phenomena of the twentieth century. We argue that medical progress played a critical role in this process. Improved maternal health alleviated the adverse effects of pregnancy and childbirth on women's ability to work, while the introduction of infant formula reduced mothers' comparative advantage in infant feeding. We construct economic measures of these two dimensions of medical progress and develop a
more » ... ive model that aims to capture their impact. Our results suggests that these advances, by enabling women to reconcile work and motherhood, were essential for the rise in married women's participation and the evolution of their economic role. such that for given © q I t , q G t , R t ª t , the allocation solves the household problem for all households {r, ξ} , firms maximize profits, and the markets for infant formula, home appliances and consumption clear.
doi:10.3386/w14873 fatcat:uiwvausuijdwbjbjw67ibwbu2q