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Monday, 24 February, 2020

15:00 | Applied Micro Research Seminar

Libertad González, Ph.D. (Universitat Pompeu Fabra & Barcelona GSE, Spain) “Can Public Policy Change Gender Norms? How Paternity Leave Affects Children”

Libertad González, Ph.D.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra & Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, Spain


Authors: Lídia Farré, Christina Felfe, Libertad González, and Patrick Schneider

Abstract: Recent evidence suggests that remaining gender gaps in the labor market can be attributed at least in part to social norms. Attitudes towards gender roles may be formed during childhood, and are probably affected by the attitudes and behaviors of parents. Can a policy that affects parents’ behaviors change their children’s attitudes towards gender roles, and thus gender gaps in the labor market in the next generation? We exploit the introduction of paternity leave in Spain in 2007, which led to mothers returning to work earlier and fathers doing more childcare persistently. In a targeted in-school survey, we elicit attitudes towards gender roles from children at age 12. We combine a regression discontinuity approach based on exact date of birth with a difference-in-differences specification that compares two cohorts of children. We hypothesize that children whose fathers were eligible for paternity leave may have developed attitudes that are less gender-stereotyped, and their own behaviors and aspirations may thus be less gender-stereotypical.

Keywords: gender roles, paternity leave, social norms, intergenerational transmission.

JEL codes: D13, H31, J13, J16, J18.