Creator: Fogli, Alessandra and Veldkamp, Laura Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 386 Abstract:
In the last century, the evolution of female labor force participation has been S-shaped: It rose slowly at first, then quickly, and has leveled off recently. Central to this dramatic rise has been entry of women with young children. We argue that this S-shaped dynamic came from generations of women learning about the relative importance of nature (endowed ability) and nurture (time spent child-rearing) for children’s outcomes. Each generation updates their parents’ beliefs by observing the children of employed women. When few women participate in the labor force, most observations are uninformative and participation rises slowly. As information accumulates and the effects of labor force participation become less uncertain, more women participate, learning accelerates and labor force participation rises faster. As beliefs converge to the truth, participation flattens out. Survey data, wage data and participation data support our mechanism and distinguish it from alternative explanations.
Stichwort: Preference formation, Labor supply, Female labor force participation, S-shaped learning, and Endogenous information diffusion Fach: J21 - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure, R12 - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity, N32 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy: U.S.; Canada: 1913-, and Z13 - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
Creator: Fernandez, Raquel, 1959- and Fogli, Alessandra Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 361 Abstract:
We study the effect of culture on important economic outcomes by using the 1970 census to examine the work and fertility behavior of women born in the U.S. but whose parents were born elsewhere. We use past female labor force participation and total fertility rates from the country of ancestry as our cultural proxies. These variables should capture, in addition to past economic and institutional conditions, the beliefs commonly held about the role of women in society (i.e., culture). Given the different time and place, only the beliefs embodied in the cultural proxies should be potentially relevant. We show that these cultural proxies have positive and significant explanatory power for individual work and fertility outcomes, even after controlling for possible indirect effects of culture. We examine alternative hypotheses for these positive correlations and show that neither unobserved human capital nor networks are likely to be responsible.
Stichwort: Networks, Female labor force participation, Cultural transmission, Immigrants, Family, Fertility, and Neighborhoods Fach: J22 - Time Allocation and Labor Supply, J16 - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination, J13 - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth, J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity, and Z13 - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification