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The Intergenerational Correlation of Employment: Is There a Role for Work Culture?

Author

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  • Galassi, Gabriela

    (Bank of Canada)

  • Koll, David

    (European University Institute)

  • Mayr, Lukas

    (University of Essex)

Abstract

We document a substantial positive correlation of employment status between mothers and their children in the United States, linking data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79) and the NLSY79 Children and Young Adults. After controlling for ability, education, and wealth, a one-year increase in a mother's employment is associated with six weeks more employment of her child on average. The intergenerational transmission of maternal employment is stronger to daughters than to sons, and it is higher for low-educated and low-income mothers. Potential mechanisms we were able to rule out include networks, occupation-specific human capital and conditions within the local labor market. By contrast, we provide suggestive evidence for a role-model channel through which labor force participation is transmitted.

Suggested Citation

  • Galassi, Gabriela & Koll, David & Mayr, Lukas, 2019. "The Intergenerational Correlation of Employment: Is There a Role for Work Culture?," IZA Discussion Papers 12595, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12595
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    Cited by:

    1. Boneva, T. & Kaufmann, K. & Rauh, C., 2021. "Maternal Labor Supply: Perceived Returns, Constraints, and Social Norms," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2138, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Velilla, Jorge, 2020. "Intergenerational correlation of self-employment in European countries," MPRA Paper 104184, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Giménez-Nadal, José Ignacio & Molina, José Alberto & Velilla, Jorge, 2022. "Intergenerational correlation of self-employment in Western Europe," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    4. Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio & Molina, José Alberto & Velilla, Jorge, 2020. "Short- vs Long-Term Intergenerational Correlations of Employment and Self-Employment in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 12933, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    intergenerational transmission; preferences for work; female employment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • 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
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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