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Revisiting ‘mothers and sons’ preference formation and the female labor force in Switzerland

  • Bütikofer, Aline

This paper analyzes the interrelation between men's gender role attitudes and female labor supply decision. Following Fernández et al. (2004), I argue that the recent increases in the female labor market participation rate are driven by the growing proportion of men who were brought up in a family with a working mother. First, the paper reexamines the results of the cross-section analysis of Fernández et al. (2004) using the Swiss Household Panel 2005 to illustrate that married women whose mothers-in-law were working are themselves significantly more likely to be in the labor force. In a second step, the paper attempts to test one of their model's crucial mechanisms and show that the effect of a wife's labor market integration on her husband's well-being diverges depending on the former labor market status of his mother. Taken together, this evidence can be interpreted as varying preferences for women with high labor market integration due to exposure to certain sexual stereotypes early in life.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S092753711200111X
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 20 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 82-91

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:20:y:2013:i:c:p:82-91
DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2012.11.003
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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  1. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2005. "Engines of Liberation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 109-133.
  2. Browning, M. & Bourguignon, F. & Chiappori, P.A. & Lechene, V., 1992. "Incomes and Outcomes: A structural Model of Intra-Household Allocation," DELTA Working Papers 92-23, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  3. Katz, Lawrence & Goldin, Claudia, 2002. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," Scholarly Articles 2624453, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
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  6. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2005. "Does Marriage Make People Happy, Or Do Happy People Get Married?," IZA Discussion Papers 1811, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1994. "Satisfaction and comparison income," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9408, CEPREMAP.
  8. Ed Diener & Eunkook Suh, 1997. "Measuring Quality Of Life: Economic, Social, And Subjective Indicators," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 189-216, January.
  9. McBride, Michael, 2001. "Relative-income effects on subjective well-being in the cross-section," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 251-278, July.
  10. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
  11. Bernard M.S. van Praag & Paul Frijters, 1999. "The measurement of welfare and well-being; the Leyden approach," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 071a, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  12. Smith, James P & Ward, Michael P, 1985. "Time-Series Growth in the Female Labor Force," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages S59-90, January.
  13. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299.
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