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Education, norms, and gender equality

Hilda Ralsmark ()
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Hilda Ralsmark: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, Postal: P.O.Box 640, SE 40530 GÖTEBORG, Sweden, http://www.economics.gu.se

No 702, Working Papers in Economics from University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics

Abstract: Despite major developments in gender equality, differences between men and women’s economic and social behaviors remain. Several studies demonstrate the importance of gender norms in explaining a significant part of the gender gap. But what shapes gender norms? I provide evidence on the role of education, considered to be a key factor to reach gender equality, in influencing attitudes on gender norms in two different domains: the labor market and household. Exploiting educational reforms in Europe, I find that mandatory education and years of education significantly reduces individuals’ level of agreement on the gender norm that the man should be the breadwinner but not on the gender norm that the woman should be the homemaker. The result is consistent with the hypothesis that part of the ”stalled revolution” in gender equality is because norms in the household are more rigid than in the labor market, and that educated women face a dilemma between a career and family, or a double burden where they continue to do the lion’s share of household work.

Keywords: Gender equality; Education; Gender Norms; Labor market; Household Economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D10 I20 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-gen, nep-hme, nep-lab, nep-neu and nep-soc
Date: 2017-06
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