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The intergenerational transfer of the employment gender gap

Venke Furre Haaland, Mari Rege (), Kjetil Telle and Mark Votruba

Labour Economics, 2018, vol. 52, issue C, 132-146

Abstract: We investigate the extent to which the gap in employment rates between genders is shaped by the intergenerational transfer of gender norms. We employ rich longitudinal registry data covering the entire Norwegian population between the years 1970 and 2009 and show that a parsimonious set of family and municipality characteristics, measured in childhood, can explain a substantial part of the gender gap in full-time employment. The characteristics primarily operate through their impact on female (not male) employment. Children raised in “high gender gap” conditions (low-educated parents, non-working mother and raised in a municipality at the highest decile for Christian Democrat voter support and lowest decile in maternal employment rates) demonstrate an employment gender gap almost four times larger than those raised in “low gap” conditions. Our key childhood characteristics are also related to other career indicators (education, earnings, age at first marriage, age at first childbirth, being the primary breadwinner) in a way that is consistent with the transfer of gender norms. Thus, the gender employment gap appears to be shaped by intergenerational transfers of norms even in one of the most gender equal societies in the world.

Keywords: Gender gap; Intergenerational transfer; Gender norms; Gender roles; Social norms; Employment; Labor force participation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J16 J21 D13 N30 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Working Paper: The intergenerational transfer of the employment gender gap (2014) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2018.04.004

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