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

73 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2002

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: October 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 labour choices. We present empirical evidence based on GSS data that favours our transmission mechanism. We show that men whose mothers were more educated or worked are more likely to marry similar women themselves.

Keywords: Education, female labour force participation, cultural transmission, marriage

JEL Classification: I20, J12

Suggested Citation

Fernández, Raquel and Fogli, Alessandra and Olivetti, Claudia, Marrying Your Mom: Preference Transmission and Women's Labour and Education Choices (October 2002). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 3592. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=353241

Raquel Fernández (Contact Author)

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

269 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10003
United States
212-998-8908 (Phone)
212-995-4186 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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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