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