Marrying Your Mom: Preference Transmission and Women's Labor and Education Choices

51 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2002 Last revised: 30 Oct 2010

See all articles by Raquel Fernández

Raquel Fernández

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Alessandra Fogli

Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics

Claudia Olivetti

Boston College; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 2002

Abstract

This paper argues that the evolution of male preferences contributed to the dramatic increase in the proportion of working and educated women in the population over time. Male preferences evolved because some men experienced a different family model one in which their mother was skilled and/or worked. These men, we hypothesize, were more inclined to marry women who themselves were skilled or worked. Our model endogenizes the evolution of preferences in a dynamic setting and examines how it affected women's education and labor choices. We present empirical evidence based on GSS data that favors our transmission mechanism. We show that men whose mothers were more educated or worked are more likely to marry similar women themselves.

Suggested Citation

Fernández, Raquel and Fogli, Alessandra and Olivetti, Claudia, Marrying Your Mom: Preference Transmission and Women's Labor and Education Choices (September 2002). NBER Working Paper No. w9234. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=334326

Raquel Fernández (Contact Author)

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10003
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212-998-8908 (Phone)
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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Alessandra Fogli

Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10003
United States
212-998-0872 (Phone)

Claudia Olivetti

Boston College ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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