IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Lock in and Switch: Asymmetric Information and New Product Diffusion

In the last century, the evolution of female labor force participation has been S-shaped: It rose slowly at first, then quickly, and has leveled off recently. Central to this dramatic rise has been the entry of women with young children. We argue that this S-shaped dynamic came from generations of women learning about the relative importance of nature (endowed ability) and nurture (time spent child-rearing) in determining children's outcomes. Each generation updates the beliefs of their parents, by observing others' outcomes. When few women participate in the labor force, most outcomes are uninformative about the effect of labor force participation and participation rises slowly. As information accumulates and the effects of labor force participation become less uncertain, more women participate, learning accelerates and labor force participation rises faster. As beliefs converge to the truth, participation flattens out. Learning offers a rational explanation for the differences in employment preferences that have been the focus of a large empirical literature. Survey data, wage data and participation data support our story and distinguish it from alternative explanations.

(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: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/emplibrary/diffusionApr07.pdf
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 07-11.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ste:nystbu:07-11
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: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/economics/
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. 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.
  2. Stephania Albanesi & Claudia Olivetti, 2005. "Home Production, Market Production and the Gender Wage Gap: Incentives and Expectations," Boston University - Department of Economics - Macroeconomics Working Papers Series WP2005-004, Boston University - Department of Economics, revised Aug 2007.
  3. François Gourio & Pierre-Alexandre Noual, 2006. "The Marginal Worker and The Aggregate Elasticity of Labor Supply," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-009, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  4. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2007. "The Power of the Family," NBER Working Papers 13051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jean Tirole & Roland Benabou, 2004. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," 2004 Meeting Papers 15, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2005. "Changes in the Labor Supply Behavior of Married Women: 1980-2000," NBER Working Papers 11230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Raquel Bernal, 2008. "The Effect Of Maternal Employment And Child Care On Children'S Cognitive Development," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1173-1209, November.
  8. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2005. "Social Change: The Sexual Revolution," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 9, Economie d'Avant Garde, revised Apr 2009.
  9. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2008. "Occupational Choice and the Spirit of Capitalism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 747-793, 05.
  10. Raquel Bernal & Michael P. Keane, 2011. "Child Care Choices and Children’s Cognitive Achievement: The Case of Single Mothers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(3), pages 459 - 512.
  11. Paola Giuliano, 2005. "Living Arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," 2005 Meeting Papers 189, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. 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.
  13. Greenwood,J. & Seshadri,A. & Yorukoglu,M., 2002. "Engines of liberation," Working papers 1, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  14. Francis Vella & Lídia Farré, 2007. "The Intergenerational Transmission Of Gender Role Attitudes And Its Implications For Female Labor Force Participation," Working Papers. Serie AD 2007-23, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  15. Greenwood, Jeremy & Guner, Nezih, 2008. "Social Change," IZA Discussion Papers 3485, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2007. "Social Attitudes and Economic Development : An Epidemiological Approach," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/8814, Sciences Po.
  17. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 2006. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 163-193.
  18. Alessandra Fogli & Raquel Fernandez, 2009. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 146-77, January.
  19. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2002. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 730-770, August.
  20. Orazio Attanasio & Hamish Low & Virginia Sanchez-Marcos, 2008. "Explaining Changes in Female Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1517-52, September.
  21. Orazio Attanasio & Steven J. Davis, 1994. "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Van Nieuwerburgh, Stijn & Veldkamp, Laura, 2006. "Learning asymmetries in real business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 753-772, May.
  23. Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
  24. 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.
  25. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2009. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1095-1131, August.
  26. Stefania Albanesi & Claudia Olivetti, 2009. "Production, Market Production and the Gender Wage Gap: Incentives and Expectations," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 80-107, January.
  27. Jussi Keppo & Giuseppe Moscarini & Lones Smith, 2005. "The Demand for Information: More Heat than Light," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1498, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  28. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1999. "The Returns to Skill in the United States across the Twentieth Century," NBER Working Papers 7126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2003. "Why are married women working so much?," Staff Report 317, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  30. Amador, Manuel & Weill, Pierre-Olivier, 2006. "Learning from Private and Public Observation of Other's Actions," MPRA Paper 109, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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:07-11. 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.