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ISEG 2S | The onset of female labor market participation and the role of the mothers

22 Abr das 11:30 às 11:31
Quelhas 6 | Piso 3 | Sala Delta


Jesus M. Carro

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Department of Economics


The onset of female labor market participation and the role of the mothers

Jointly with:

CEMAPRE Seminars


Female labor participation has increased in most countries. Although the literature has

advanced several explanations for this fact, the reasons for the onset of female labor mar-

ket participation are not well understood. Among other factors, productivity differentials,

and human capital accumulation have been proposed as fundamentals to understand the

trends in female work status. Recently, economists have established that culture differ-

ences affect economic outcomes and in particular the levels of female labor force partici-

pation. Previous studies also showed that culture is transmitted from parents to children

and, therefore, transitory shocks to preferences or beliefs may have long-run impacts on

economic outcomes. To our knowledge, there are no studies which try to directly evaluate

the role of intergenerational transmission of preferences and beliefs within the family in the

onset of female labor market participation. We argue that intergenerational family data

from parish records from the 18 th and 19th century provide us with a nice opportunity

to evaluate the importance of this mechanism for persistence in the work status of female

workers. Using church registry data from several Portuguese settlements, we propose to

estimate a reduced-form dynamic discrete choice model. Importantly, we address the

problem of missing values, which so often affects historical records using a methodology

recently proposed by Ramalho and Smith (2012). Preliminary results show a positive and

statistically significant effect of the mother working status on the daughter’s probability

of working across different model specifications. We interpret such an effect as evidence

of intergenerational family transmission of preferences and/or beliefs.




This seminars series is organized by

Margarida Abreu


Raquel M. Gaspar

(FIN/MG) and

Isabel Proença



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