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Building gender roles: Do children learn from their parents?

  • Begoña Álvarez
  • Daniel Miles

Intergenerational transmission has been successfully employed in economic research to explain the persistence of certain economic behaviors across generations. This paper evaluates the relevance of this transmission process in the formation of gender roles during childhood. In particular, we analyze the relationship betwen parents’ and children’s housework allocation patterns. The empirical application is carried out with the Spanish Time Use Survey 2002—2003. We find a significant positive correlation between the fathers’ contribution to housework and a less asymmetrical distribution of domestic chores between sons and daughters. This correlation is robust to the inclusion of variables aimed at capturing social externalities and also to different definitions of father’s involvement with household labor.

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Paper provided by Universidade de Vigo, Departamento de Economía Aplicada in its series Working Papers with number 0906.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vig:wpaper:0906
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  2. Fernandez, Cristina & Sevilla-Sanz, Almudena, 2006. "Social norms and household time allocation," IESE Research Papers D/648, IESE Business School.
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  12. Begoña Alvarez & Daniel Miles, . "Gender Effect on Housework Allocation: Evidence from Spanish Two-Earner Couples," Studies on the Spanish Economy 114, FEDEA.
  13. Anderson, Patricia M. & Butcher, Kristin F. & Levine, Phillip B., 2003. "Maternal employment and overweight children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 477-504, May.
  14. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2010. "The power of the family," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 93-125, June.
  15. Christian Bantle & John P. Haisken-DeNew, 2002. "Smoke Signals: The Intergenerational Transmission of Smoking Behavior," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 277, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  16. Raquel Fernández, 2007. "Alfred Marshall Lecture Women, Work, and Culture," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 305-332, 04-05.
  17. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  18. Bonke, J., 1995. "Education, Work and Gender, An International Comparison," Papers 95/4, European Institute - European Forum.
  19. Booth, Alison L. & Kee, Hiau Joo, 2006. "Intergenerational Transmission of Fertility Patterns in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 2437, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Kooreman, P., 2007. "Time, money, peers, and parents : Some data and theories on teenage behavior," Other publications TiSEM 05026f0a-e418-4eb8-a483-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
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