Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/120780
Authors: 
Albanesi, Stefania
Olivetti, Claudia
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
Staff Report, Federal Reserve Bank of New York 720
Abstract: 
Maternal mortality was the second-leading cause of death for women in childbearing years up until the mid-1930s in the United States. For each death, twenty times as many mothers were estimated to suffer pregnancy-related conditions, often leading to severe and prolonged disablement. Poor maternal health made it particularly hard for mothers to engage in market work. Between 1930 and 1960, there was a remarkable reduction in maternal mortality and morbidity, thanks to medical advances. We argue that these medical advances, by enabling women to reconcile work and motherhood, were essential for the joint rise in married women's labor force participation and fertility over this period. We also show that the diffusion of infant formula played an important auxiliary role.
Subjects: 
maternal health
labor force participation
JEL: 
I00
J00
J19
J21
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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