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Dads and Daughters: The Changing Impact of Fathers on Women’s Occupational Choices

  • Judith K. Hellerstein
  • Melinda Sandler Morrill
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    We examine whether women’s rising labor force participation led to increased intergenerational transmission of occupation from fathers to daughters. We develop a model where fathers invest in human capital that is specific to their own occupations. Our model generates an empirical test where we compare the trends in the probabilities that women work in their father’s versus their father-in-law’s occupation. Using data from birth cohorts born between 1909 and 1977, our results indicate that the estimated difference in these trends accounts for at least 13–20 percent of the total increase in the probability that a woman enters her father’s occupation.

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    File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/46/2/333
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    Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

    Volume (Year): 46 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 333-372

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    Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:46:y:2011:ii:1:p:333-372
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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    1. Mincer, Jacob, 1985. "Intercountry Comparisons of Labor Force Trends and of Related Developments: An Overview," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages S1-32, January.
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    7. Goldin, Claudia D, 1991. "The Role of World War II in the Rise of Women's Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 741-56, September.
    8. Neal, Derek, 1995. "Industry-Specific Human Capital: Evidence from Displaced Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 653-77, October.
    9. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299, November.
    10. Guido W. Imbens & Judith K. Hellerstein, 1996. "Imposing Moment Restrictions from Auxiliary Data by Weighting," NBER Technical Working Papers 0202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Joseph P. Ferrie, 2005. "History Lessons: The End of American Exceptionalism? Mobility in the United States Since 1850," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 199-215, Summer.
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