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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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    Cited by:

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    2. Janzen, Sarah A. & Magnan, Nicholas & Mullally, Conner C. & Sharma, Shruti, 2021. "Training and Shifting Gender Norms: Evidence from a training intervention in rural Nepal," 2021 Annual Meeting, August 1-3, Austin, Texas 314065, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Patricia Cortés & Gizem Koşar & Jessica Pan & Basit Zafar, 2022. "Should Mothers Work? How Perceptions of the Social Norm Affect Individual Attitudes Toward Work in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 30606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    5. Lídia Farré & Cristina Felfe & Libertad González & Patrick Schneider, 2022. "Changing Gender Norms across Generations: Evidence from a Paternity Leave Reform," Working Papers 1310, Barcelona School of Economics.
    6. Filip Pertold & Sofiana Sinani & Michal Soltes, 2023. "Gender Gap in Reported Childcare Preferences among Parents," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp770, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    7. Barbara Boelmann & Anna Christina Raute & Uta Schönberg, 2021. "Wind of Change? Cultural Determinants of Maternal Labor Supply," CESifo Working Paper Series 9094, CESifo.
    8. Philipp Lergetporer & Katharina Werner & Ludger Woessmann, 2021. "Does Ignorance of Economic Returns and Costs Explain the Educational Aspiration Gap? Representative Evidence from Adults and Adolescents," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 88(351), pages 624-670, July.
    9. Barbara Boelmann & Anna Raute & Uta Schönberg, 2021. "Wind of Change? Cultural Determinants of Maternal Labor Supply," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 090, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.

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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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