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Marrying Your Mom: Preference Transmission and Women's Labour and Education Choices

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  • Fernández, Raquel
  • Fogli, Alessandra
  • Olivetti, Claudia

Abstract

This Paper argues that the evolution of male preferences contributed to the dramatic increase in the proportion of working and educated women in the population over time. Male preferences evolved because some men experienced a different family model – one in which their mother was skilled and/or worked. These men, we hypothesize, were more inclined to marry women who themselves were skilled or worked. Our model endogenizes the evolution of preferences in a dynamic setting and examines how it affected women’s education and labour choices. We present empirical evidence based on GSS data that favours our transmission mechanism. We show that men whose mothers were more educated or worked are more likely to marry similar women themselves.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3592.

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Date of creation: Oct 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3592

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Keywords: cultural transmission; education; female labour force participation; marriage;

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References

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  1. Dora L. Costa, 2000. "From Mill Town to Board Room: The Rise of Women's Paid Labor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 101-122, Fall.
  2. Claudia Olivetti, 2006. "Changes in Women's Hours of Market Work: The Role of Returns to Experience," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(4), pages 557-587, October.
  3. Raquel Fernández & Richard Rogerson, 2001. "Sorting And Long-Run Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1305-1341, November.
  4. Shelly Lundberg & Robert Pollak, 2003. "Efficiency in Marriage," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 153-167, September.
  5. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2002. "Engines of Liberation," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 2, Economie d'Avant Garde.
  6. Michael Kremer, 1996. "How Much Does Sorting Increase Inequality?," NBER Working Papers 5566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Raquel Ferndez & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2001. "Love and Money: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Household Sorting and Inequality," Penn CARESS Working Papers d3d043317c8e26c4039c21aa0, Penn Economics Department.
  8. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2000. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," NBER Working Papers 7527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection And The Origin Of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191, November.
  10. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2003. "Why are married women working so much?," Staff Report 317, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond The Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, And The Evolution Of Ethnic And Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988, August.
  12. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-87, June.
  13. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
  14. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
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