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Working Mothers and Sons' Preferences Regarding Female Labor: Direct Evidence From Stated Preferences

  • Daiji Kawaguchi
  • Junko Miyazaki

The labor force participation rate of women in Japan has increased in recent decades. To shed light on the mechanism behind this increase, we focus on the explanation that Fernandez, Fogli and Olivetti (QJE (2004)) suggest. They claim that men who are raised by working mothers form a preference that is favorable toward working women and, consequently, they are more likely to have working wives. We test this hypothesis using the Japanese General Social Survey 2000-2002, which consists of repeated cross-sectional data sets. We fail to find a positive correlation between men's mothers' full-time work status and their wives' full-time work status. However, the lack of a correlation may be due to confounding factors. To take these potentially confounding factors into account, we directly examine whether the men raised by working and non-working mothers respond differently to the opinion survey's questions regarding the division of gender roles. The estimation results indicate that men raised by full-time working mothers are less likely to support the idea of the division of gender roles. Those men are also less likely to believe in the negative impact of a mother's working on her children's development. We confirm that the responses to the opinion survey are correlated with wives' labor force status

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File URL: http://hi-stat.ier.hit-u.ac.jp/research/discussion/2005/pdf/D05-110.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series with number d05-110.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
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Handle: RePEc:hst:hstdps:d05-110
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  1. Datcher-Loury, Linda, 1988. "Effects of Mother's Home Time on Children's Schooling," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 367-73, August.
  2. David Neumark & Andrew Postlewaite, 1995. "Relative Income Concerns and the Rise in Married Women's Employment," NBER Working Papers 5044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2003. "Engines of Liberation," RCER Working Papers 503, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  5. Fernández, Raquel & Fogli, Alessandra, 2005. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work and Fertility," CEPR Discussion Papers 5089, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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