The Impact of Gender Role Norms on Mothers' Labor Supply

48 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2021

See all articles by Danilo Cavapozzi

Danilo Cavapozzi

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia

Marco Francesconi

University of Essex; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Cheti Nicoletti

University of York - Department of Economics and Related Studies

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 1, 2021

Abstract

We study whether mothers' labor supply is shaped by the gender role attitudes of their peers. Using detailed information on a sample of UK mothers with dependent children, we find that having peers with gender-egalitarian norms leads mothers to be more likely to have a paid job and to have a greater share of the total number of paid hours worked within their household, but has no sizable effect on hours worked. Most of these effects are driven by less educated women. A new decomposition analysis allows us to estimate that approximately half of the impact on labor force participation is due to women conforming gender role attitudes to their peers', with the remaining half being explained by the spillover effect of peers' labor market behavior. These findings suggest that an evolution towards gender-egalitarian attitudes promotes gender convergence in labor market outcomes. In turn, a careful dissemination of statistics on female labor market behavior and attitudes may accelerate this convergence.

JEL Classification: J12, J16, J22, J24, J31, Z13

Suggested Citation

Cavapozzi, Danilo and Francesconi, Marco and Nicoletti, Cheti, The Impact of Gender Role Norms on Mothers' Labor Supply (March 1, 2021). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP15957, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3816833

Danilo Cavapozzi (Contact Author)

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia ( email )

Cannaregio 873
Venice, 30121
Italy

Marco Francesconi

University of Essex ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom
+44 1206 873 534 (Phone)
+44 1206 873 151 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Cheti Nicoletti

University of York - Department of Economics and Related Studies ( email )

Heslington
York, YO1 5DD
United Kingdom

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