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The intergenerational transfer of the employment gender gap

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  • Haaland, Venke Furre
  • Rege, Mari
  • Telle, Kjetil
  • Votruba, Mark

Abstract

We investigate the extent to which the gap in employment rates between genders is shaped by the intergenerational transfer of gender norms. We employ rich longitudinal registry data covering the entire Norwegian population between the years 1970 and 2009 and show that a parsimonious set of family and municipality characteristics, measured in childhood, can explain a substantial part of the gender gap in full-time employment. The characteristics primarily operate through their impact on female (not male) employment. Children raised in “high gender gap” conditions (low-educated parents, non-working mother and raised in a municipality at the highest decile for Christian Democrat voter support and lowest decile in maternal employment rates) demonstrate an employment gender gap almost four times larger than those raised in “low gap” conditions. Our key childhood characteristics are also related to other career indicators (education, earnings, age at first marriage, age at first childbirth, being the primary breadwinner) in a way that is consistent with the transfer of gender norms. Thus, the gender employment gap appears to be shaped by intergenerational transfers of norms even in one of the most gender equal societies in the world.

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  • Haaland, Venke Furre & Rege, Mari & Telle, Kjetil & Votruba, Mark, 2018. "The intergenerational transfer of the employment gender gap," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 132-146.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:132-146
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2018.04.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Janna Bergsvik & Kenneth Aarskaug Wiik & Ragni Hege Kitterød, 2018. "Parenthood and couples’ relative earnings in Norway 2005-2014," Discussion Papers 873, Statistics Norway, Research Department.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender gap; Intergenerational transfer; Gender norms; Gender roles; Social norms; Employment; Labor force participation;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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