Maternal gender role attitudes, human capital investment, and labour supply of sons and daughters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies have shown that beliefs, preferences, and attitudes are important pathways for the intergenerational transmission of economic outcomes. We contribute to this literature by documenting the importance of gender role attitudes with data from the 1970 British Cohort Study. We find that mothers and children s gender role attitudes, measured 25 years apart, are strongly correlated, equally so for sons and daughters. We also find that daughters and sons wives/partners have greater human capital and labour supply if their mothers held non-traditional attitudes. A fixed effect analysis shows that the female labour supply effects are particularly large following childbirth. Importantly, sons human capital and labour supply are unaffected, suggesting the results are not driven by unobserved heterogeneity. All these findings imply that the intergenerational transmission of gender role attitudes explains a substantive part of gender inequalities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631 - 659
Number of pages29
JournalOxford Economic Papers
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Cite this