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The Intergenerational Transmission of Gender Role Attitudes and its Implications for Female Labour Force Participation



Using a sample of mother–child pairs from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, we study the economics of cultural transmission regarding women's roles. We find that a mother's attitudes have a statistically significant effect on those of her children. Furthermore, we find a strong association between the attitudes of sons in their youth and their wives' labour supply as adults. For daughters, the association between their own attitudes and adult work outcomes is weaker and seems to operate through the educational channel. Our findings indicate that cultural transmission contributes to heterogeneity in the labour supply of women.