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Gender Norms and Labor-Supply Expectations: Experimental Evidence from Adolescents

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  • Grewenig, Elisabeth

    (ifo Institute)

  • Lergetporer, Philipp

    (ifo Institute)

  • Werner, Katharina

    (ifo Institute)

Abstract

Gender gaps in labor-market outcomes often emerge with the arrival of the first child. We investigate a causal link between gender norms and labor-supply expectations within a survey experiment among 2,000 German adolescents. Using a hypothetical scenario, we document that the majority of girls expects to work 20 hours or less per week when having a young child, and expects from their partner to work 30 hours or more. Randomized treatments that highlight the existing traditional norm towards mothers significantly reduce girls’ self-expected labor supply and thereby increase the expected gender difference in labor supply between their partners and themselves (the expected within-family gender gap). Treatment effects persist in a follow-up survey two weeks later, and extend to incentivized outcomes. In a second experiment, we highlight another, more gender-egalitarian, norm towards shared household responsibilities and show that this attenuates the expected within-family gender gap. Our results suggest that social norms play an important role in shaping gender gaps in labor-market outcomes around child birth.

Suggested Citation

  • Grewenig, Elisabeth & Lergetporer, Philipp & Werner, Katharina, 2020. "Gender Norms and Labor-Supply Expectations: Experimental Evidence from Adolescents," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 259, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
  • Handle: RePEc:rco:dpaper:259
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender norms; female labor supply; survey experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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