IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility

  • Alessandra Fogli
  • Raquel Fernandez

We study the effect of culture on important economic outcomes by using the 1970 Census to examine the work and fertility behavior of women 30-40 years old, born in the U.S., but whose parents were born elsewhere. We use past female labor force participation and total fertility rates from the country of ancestry as our cultural proxies. These variables should capture, in addition to past economic and institutional conditions, the beliefs commonly held about the role of women in society, i.e. culture. Given the different time and place, only the beliefs embodied in the cultural proxies should be potentially relevant to women's behavior in the US in 1970. We show that these cultural proxies have positive and significant explanatory power for individual work and fertility outcomes, even after controlling for possible indirect effects of culture (e.g., education and spousal characteristics). We examine alternative hypotheses for these positive correlations and show that neither unobserved human capital nor networks are likely to be responsible. We also show that the effect of these cultural proxies is amplified the greater is the tendency for ethnic groups to cluster in the same neighborhoods.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found. If this is indeed the case, please notify (Viveca Licata)

Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 05-07.

in new window

Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ste:nystbu:05-07
Contact details of provider: Postal: New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics, 44 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10012-1126
Phone: (212) 998-0860
Fax: (212) 995-4218
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. John Pencavel, 1998. "The Market Work Behavior and Wages of Women: 1975-94," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 771-804.
  2. Silverberg, Gerald & Verspagen, Bart, 2007. "The size distribution of innovations revisited: An application of extreme value statistics to citation and value measures of patent significance," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 139(2), pages 318-339, August.
  3. Stephen M Maurer & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2003. "The Independent Invention Defense in Intellectual Property," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000544, David K. Levine.
  4. Jones, Charles I., 2005. "Growth and Ideas," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 1063-1111 Elsevier.
  5. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1991. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research and the Patent Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 29-41, Winter.
  6. Jean O. Lanjouw & Ariel Pakes & Jonathan Putnam, 1996. "How to Count Patents and Value Intellectual Property: Uses of Patent Renewal and Application Data," NBER Working Papers 5741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Paola Giuliano, 2004. "On the determinants of living arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 68, Econometric Society.
  8. Boldrin, Michele & Levine, David, 2002. "Perfectly Competitive Innovation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3274, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Paola Giuliano, 2005. "Living Arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," 2005 Meeting Papers 189, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Daron Acemoglu & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 1994. "Was Prometheus unbound by chance? Risk, diversification and growth," Economics Working Papers 98, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  11. Cole, Harold L & Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Social Norms, Savings Behavior, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1092-1125, December.
  12. Raquel Fernandez & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2001. "Love and Money: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Household Sorting and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 8580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "Beyond the Melting Pot: Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," Papers 1999-10, Laval - Laboratoire Econometrie.
  14. M. Scott Taylor, 1993. "TRIPS, Trade, and Technology Transfer," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(3), pages 625-37, August.
  15. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2004. "Institutions As The Fundamental Cause Of Long-Run Growth," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 002889, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  16. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-50, October.
  18. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human Capital Externalities," NBER Working Papers 4912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Gene Grossman & Edwin L.-C. Lai, 2002. "International Protection of Intellectual Property," NBER Working Papers 8704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Nancy T. Gallini, 1992. "Patent Policy and Costly Imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(1), pages 52-63, Spring.
  21. Michele Boldrin & David K. Levine, 2005. "The economics of ideas and intellectual property," Staff Report 357, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  22. Richard Gilbert and Carl Shapiro., 1989. "Optimal Patent Length and Breadth," Economics Working Papers 89-102, University of California at Berkeley.
  23. Gjerde, Jon & McCants, Anne, 1995. "Fertility, Marriage, and Culture: Demographic Processes Among Norwegian Immigrants to the Rural Middle West," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(04), pages 860-888, December.
  24. Francine D. Blau, 1992. "The Fertility of Immigrant Women: Evidence from High-Fertility Source Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration and the Workforce: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas, pages 93-134 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "Technology and Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 1134, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1993. "Endogenous Innovation in the Theory of Growth," NBER Working Papers 4527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Yang, Guifang & Maskus, Keith E., 2001. "Intellectual property rights, licensing, and innovation in an endogenous product-cycle model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 169-187, February.
  28. Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1991. "Trade, knowledge spillovers, and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(2-3), pages 517-526, April.
  29. Reimers, Cordelia W, 1985. "Cultural Differences in Labor Force Participation among Married Women," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 251-55, May.
  30. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709.
  31. Borjas, George J, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-50, February.
  32. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak, 1996. "Bargaining and Distribution in Marriage," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 139-158, Fall.
  33. Makowski, Louis, 1980. "Perfect competition, the profit criterion, and the organization of economic activity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 222-242, April.
  34. Paul M. Romer, 1993. "New Goods, Old Theory, and the Welfare Costs of Trade Restrictions," NBER Working Papers 4452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Constitutions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661926, June.
  36. Nicole M Fortin, 2005. "Gender Role Attitudes and the Labour-market Outcomes of Women across OECD Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 416-438, Autumn.
  37. Michele Boldrin & David Levine, 2002. "The Case Against Intellectual Property," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 209-212, May.
  38. Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2003. "IER Lawrence Klein Lecture: The Case Against Intellectual Monopoly," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000493, David K. Levine.
  39. Ishac Diwan & Dani Rodrik, 1989. "Patents, Appropriate Technology, and North-South Trade," NBER Working Papers 2974, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Jean Olson Lanjouw, 1993. "Patent Protection: Of What Value and for How Long?," NBER Working Papers 4475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. Pakes, Ariel S, 1986. "Patents as Options: Some Estimates of the Value of Holding European Patent Stocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 755-84, July.
  42. Dietmar Harhoff & Frederic M. Scherer & Katrin Vopel, 1997. "Exploring the Tail of Patented Invention Value Distributions," CIG Working Papers FS IV 97-27, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  43. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
  44. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
  45. Levine, David I., 1993. "The effect of non-traditional attitudes on married women's labor supply," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 665-679, December.
  46. Heather Antecol, 2001. "Why Is There Interethnic Variation in the Gender Wage Gap?: The Role of Cultural Factors," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(1), pages 119-143.
  47. Antecol, Heather, 2000. "An examination of cross-country differences in the gender gap in labor force participation rates," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 409-426, July.
  48. Lanjouw, Jean O & Pakes, Ariel & Putnam, Jonathan, 1998. "How to Count Patents and Value Intellectual Property: The Uses of Patent Renewal and Application Data," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 405-32, December.
  49. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299, November.
  50. Hart, Oliver D, 1979. "On Shareholder Unanimity in Large Stock Market Economies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1057-83, September.
  51. Carroll, Christopher D & Rhee, Byung-Kun & Rhee, Changyong, 1994. "Are There Cultural Effects on Saving? Some Cross-Sectional Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 685-99, August.
  52. Robert J. Barro & Rachel McCleary, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  53. Taylor, M Scott, 1994. "TRIPs, Trade, and Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(2), pages 361-81, May.
  54. Vella, Francis, 1994. "Gender Roles and Human Capital Investment: The Relationship between Traditional Attitudes and Female Labour Market Performance," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 61(242), pages 191-211, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ste:nystbu:05-07. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Viveca Licata)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.