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Headstrong Girls and Dependent Boys: Gender Differences in the Labor Market Returns to Child Behavior

Robert Kaestner () and Ofer Malamud

No 29509, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: The authors use data from the Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (C-NLSY79) to examine gender differences in the associations between child behavioral problems and early adult earnings. They find large and significant earnings penalties for women who exhibited more headstrong behavior and for men who exhibited more dependent behavior as children. In contrast, there are no penalties for men who were headstrong or for women who were dependent. While other child behavioral problems are also associated with labor market earnings, their associations are not significantly different by gender. The gender differences in headstrong and dependent behavior are not explained by education, marriage, depression, self-esteem, health, or adult personality traits. However, one potential explanation is that these gender differences are a consequence of deviations from gender norms and stereotypes in the workplace.

JEL-codes: J16 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gen, nep-hea and nep-lma
Note: CH ED LS
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Published as Robert Kaestner & Ofer Malamud, 2023. "Headstrong Girls and Dependent Boys: Gender Differences in the Labor Market Returns to Child Behavior," ILR Review, vol 76(1), pages 112-134.

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