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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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  1. Loureiro, Maria L. & Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna & Vuri, Daniela, 2006. "Smoking Habits: Like Father, Like Son, Like Mother, Like Daughter," IZA Discussion Papers 2279, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Bonke, J., 1995. "Education, Work and Gender, An International Comparison," Papers 95/4, European Institute - European Forum.
  3. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299.
  4. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2007. "The Power of the Family," NBER Working Papers 13051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst, 2002. "The Correlation of Welath Across Generations," NBER Working Papers 9314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Raquel Fernandez & Alessandra Fogli, 2005. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," NBER Working Papers 11268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2008. "Maternal employment and adolescent development," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 958-983, October.
  9. Alison L. Booth & Hiau Joo Kee, 2009. "Intergenerational Transmission of Fertility Patterns," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(2), pages 183-208, 04.
  10. Fogli, Alessandra & Veldkamp, Laura, 2007. "Nature or Nurture? Learning and Female Labour Force Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 6324, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2004. "Intergenerational Education Transmission: Neighbourhood Quality and/or Parents' Involvement," CEPR Discussion Papers 4744, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Peter Kooreman, 2007. "Time, money, peers, and parents; some data and theories on teenage behavior," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(1), pages 9-33, February.
  13. Almudena Sevilla-Sanz & Cristina Fernandez, 2006. "Social Norms and Household Time Allocation," Economics Series Working Papers 291, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  14. 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.
  15. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Matthew O. Jackson, 2009. "Like Father, Like Son: Social Network Externalities and Parent-Child Correlation in Behavior," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 124-50, February.
  16. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
  17. 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.
  18. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher & Phillip B. Levine, 2002. "Maternal Employment and Overweight Children," NBER Working Papers 8770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
  20. Begoña Alvarez & Daniel Miles, . "Gender Effect on Housework Allocation: Evidence from Spanish Two-Earner Couples," Studies on the Spanish Economy 114, FEDEA.
  21. Shelly Lundberg, 2005. "Sons, Daughters, and Parental Behaviour," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 340-356, Autumn.
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