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On the nature of nurture. The malleability of gender differences in work preferences

Miriam Beblo and Luise Görges

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2018, vol. 151, issue C, 19-41

Abstract: We study the malleability of gender-specific preferences for work by exploiting the German division and reunification as a natural experiment. We test whether the two political systems have shaped gender gaps in preferences differentially, based on German-General-Social-Survey data from 1991, 1998 and 2012, an extensive set of register data and historical data from the 19th and early 20th century. Our analyses reveal a substantial East-West difference in the gender gap directly after reunification and no convergence thereafter. A cohort analysis illuminates the mechanism, as the effect is driven by cohorts who grew up during separation, and suggests that institutions, not cultural legacy, are the decisive component.

Keywords: German separation and reunification; Gender differences; Work preferences; Cohort analysis; Natural experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:151:y:2018:i:c:p:19-41