Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 513–539 | Cite as

The labor supply of military wives in the US

  • Breann Whitby
  • Janice Compton


Despite a slight increase in the labor force participation rate of women age 18–55 in the U.S. between 1990 and 2010, the labor force participation rate of military wives in this age cohort fell from 63 to 57 %. The goal of this paper is twofold: to document and analyze the labor force participation of military wives between 1990 and 2010, using the U.S. Census and American Community Survey data, and to compare the relationship between migration and labor force participation for military and non-military wives. We find that the primary suspects to explain the widening gap are the repeated migration for military wives, and the deepening of the recession.


Migration Military Labor force participation 

JEL Classification

J22 J61 



We would like to thank Wayne Simpson, the participants at the Gender Wage Gap Workshop, University of Guelph and at the Canadian Economic Association meetings for helpful comments.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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