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