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Marrying Your Mom: Preference Transmission and Women's Labor and Education Choices

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  • Raquel Fernandez
  • Alessandra Fogli
  • Claudia Olivetti

Abstract

This paper argues that the evolution of male preferences contributed to the dramatic increase in the proportion of working and educated women in the population over time. Male preferences evolved because some men experienced a different family model one in which their mother was skilled and/or worked. These men, we hypothesize, were more inclined to marry women who themselves were skilled or worked. Our model endogenizes the evolution of preferences in a dynamic setting and examines how it affected women's education and labor choices. We present empirical evidence based on GSS data that favors our transmission mechanism. We show that men whose mothers were more educated or worked are more likely to marry similar women themselves.

Suggested Citation

  • Raquel Fernandez & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2002. "Marrying Your Mom: Preference Transmission and Women's Labor and Education Choices," NBER Working Papers 9234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9234
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2005. "Engines of Liberation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 109-133.
    8. Claudia Olivetti, 2006. "Changes in Women's Hours of Market Work: The Role of Returns to Experience," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(4), pages 557-587, October.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Suegras, mujeres trabajadoras y nuevos hombres (i)
      by Luis Abenza in Politikon on 2015-04-28 13:00:24
    2. Suegras, mujeres trabajadoras y nuevos hombres (ii)
      by Luis Abenza in Politikon on 2015-05-05 13:00:52

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Guido Tabellini, 2010. "Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 677-716, June.
    2. Ellen R. McGrattan & Richard Rogerson, 2004. "Changes in hours worked, 1950?2000," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, vol. 28(Jul), pages 14-33.
    3. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 437-449, March.
    4. Aubhik Khan, 2004. "Why are married women working more? Some macroeconomic explanations," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q4, pages 16-25.
    5. Alessandra Fogli & Laura Veldkamp, 2007. "Nature or nurture? learning and female labor force dynamics," Staff Report 386, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    6. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2005. "Engines of Liberation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 109-133.
    7. Tiago V. de V. Cavalcanti & José Tavares, 2008. "Assessing the "Engines of Liberation": Home Appliances and Female Labor Force Participation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 81-88, February.
    8. Guner, Duygu & Uysal, Gokce, 2014. "Culture, Religiosity and Female Labor Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 8132, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Evelyn Korn, 2008. "Zerstört der Sozialstaat die Familie?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(2), pages 156-172, May.
    10. Takeo Hori, 2011. "Educational Gender Inequality And Inverted U‐Shaped Fertility Dynamics," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 126-150, March.
    11. Raquel Fernandez & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Preference Formation and the Rise of Women's Labor Force Participation: Evidence from WWII," NBER Working Papers 10589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Aleksynska, Mariya, 2007. "Civic Participation of Immigrants: Culture Transmission and Assimilation," MPRA Paper 4594, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Banerjee, Abhijit V., 2004. "Educational policy and the economics of the family," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 3-32, June.
    14. Tiago V. De V. Cavalcanti & José Tavares, 2011. "Women Prefer Larger Governments: Growth, Structural Transformation, And Government Size," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(1), pages 155-171, January.
    15. Rubiana Chamarbagwala & Martin Ranger, 2006. "India's Missing Women: Disentangling Cultural, Political and Economic Variables," CAEPR Working Papers 2006-021, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Department of Economics, Indiana University Bloomington.
    16. Christopher Pissarides & Pietro Garibaldi & Claudia Olivetti & Barbara Petrongolo & Etienne Wasmer, 2005. "Women in the Labour Force : How Well is Europe Doing ?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/9081, Sciences Po.
    17. Black, Sandra & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G, 2003. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," CEPR Discussion Papers 4150, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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    1. Advanced Monetary Theory and Policy (ECON 447)

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