Patriarchal Norms and Women's Labor Market Outcomes
30 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2021 Last revised: 3 Mar 2023
Date Written: January 10, 2021
Gender discrimination in the labor market is usually seen as the result of the employers' cultural bias. In this paper, we see the issue from a larger perspective by combining both labor market and household decision making together. It is often observed that women, prioritizing their families over their careers, willfully settle for less paying and less demanding job profiles. This leads to gender wage gap even if the employers do not discriminate between male and female employees. We argue that women may make such choices in presence of patriarchal social norms which see household chores as the primary duty of women. Our theoretical model predicts that women coming from families with stronger patriarchal values are more likely to accept less paying (and less demanding) jobs in the labor market than the women from liberal families. Our empirical section that uses a nationally representative survey data from India (IHDS) provides support for our theoretical predictions. Our results are robust to different measures of patriarchal culture. We also show that the marginal effect of patriarchy on women's wage varies across occupations and places of residence.
Keywords: Family culture, gender wage gap, India
JEL Classification: J16, J31, O15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation