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Preference or endowment? Intergenerational transmission of women’s work behavior and the underlying mechanisms

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  • Zhongda Li

    () (Jinan University)

  • Lu Liu

    () (University of California, Los Angeles)

Abstract

Existing studies have established a positive correlation between a married woman’s work behavior and her mother-in-law’s. Such linkage is attributable to the profound influence of maternal employment on son’s gender role preferences or household productivity. This paper systematically investigates the relative importance of the two potential mechanisms using the Chinese survey data. We show that a substantive part of the intergenerational correlation is left unexplained even if we control for the husband’s gender role attitudes. Instead, we find that the husband’s household productivity is more crucial in the wife’s work decision, suggesting the dominance of the endowment channel over the preference channel.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhongda Li & Lu Liu, 2019. "Preference or endowment? Intergenerational transmission of women’s work behavior and the underlying mechanisms," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(4), pages 1401-1435, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:32:y:2019:i:4:d:10.1007_s00148-018-0721-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-018-0721-0
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational transmission; Preference channel; Endowment channel; Heterogeneous effects;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation

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