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Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility

  • Alessandra Fogli
  • Raquel Fernandez

We study culture by examining the work and fertility behavior of second-generation American women. Culture is proxied with past female labor force participation and total fertility rates from the woman's country of ancestry. The values of these variables capture not only economic and institutional conditions but also the country's preferences and beliefs regarding women's roles. Since the women live in the United States, only the belief and preference components are potentially relevant. We show that the cultural proxies have positive significant explanatory power even after controlling for education and spousal characteristics, and we demonstrate that the results are unlikely to be explained by unobserved human capital. (JEL: J13, J16, J22, J24, Z13)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 146-77

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:1:y:2009:i:1:p:146-77
Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.1.1.146
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