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July 17, 2024

SOEP Brown Bag Seminar

The Economic Consequences of Being Widowed by War: A Life-Cycle Perspective (with J. Stuhler)


July 17, 2024


Karl Popper Room
DIW Berlin
Room 2.3.020
Mohrenstr. 58
10117 Berlin


Sebastian Braun, University of Bayreuth

Despite millions of war widows worldwide, little is known about the economic consequences of being widowed by war. We use life history data from West Germany to show that war widowhood increased women’s employment immediately after World War II but led to lower employment rates later in life. War widows, therefore, carried a double burden of employment and childcare while their children were young but left the workforce when their children reached adulthood. We discuss the mechanisms contributing to this counterintuitive life-cycle pattern and examine potential spillovers to the next generation.