Anna Raute, Uta Schӧnberg, 02 July 2021

Do cultural norms determine whether women go back to work after having a child? And if culture changes, does their behaviour change too? Anna Raute and Uta Schӧnberg tell Tim Phillips how the reunification of Germany provided unique data.

The paper discussed is:
Boelmann, B, Raute, A and Schӧnberg, U. 2021. 'Wind of Change? Cultural Determinants of Maternal Labor Supply'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research. https://cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16149

 

Danilo Cavapozzi, Marco Francesconi, Cheti Nicoletti, 13 May 2021

Despite a significant reduction in gender differences in the labour market over the last 40 years, they are still present in most advanced economies and do not appear likely to vanish soon. This column analyses the impact of culture, defined by women’s gender role attitudes, on maternal labour market decisions. It finds that social pressure is at least as strong as social learning in influencing labour market behaviour. Once these channels are accounted for, there is no direct effect of peers’ gender identity norms on labour force participation. Disseminating detailed statistics on female labour market outcomes and work attitudes may prove to be a cost-effective way to promote labour market participation, especially among less-educated mothers.

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