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Econometrics and Applied Micro Webinar: 'Wind of Change? Cultural Determinants of Maternal Labor Supply' (via Zoom)

Dates:
  • Mon 08 Jun 2020 15.00 - 16.15
  Add to Calendar 2020-06-08 15:00 2020-06-08 16:15 Europe/Paris Econometrics and Applied Micro Webinar: 'Wind of Change? Cultural Determinants of Maternal Labor Supply' (via Zoom)

Abstract: Does the culture in which a woman grows up influence her labor market decisions once she has had a child? To what extent might the culture of her present social environment shape maternal labor supply? To address these questions, we exploit the setting of German reunification. A state socialist country, East Germany strongly encouraged mothers to participate in the labor market full-time, whereas West Germany propagated a more traditional male breadwinner-model. After reunification, these two cultures were suddenly thrown together, with consequent increased social interactions between East and West Germans through migration and commuting. A comparison of East and West German mothers on both sides of the former Inner German border within the same commuting zone shows that culture matters. Indeed, East German mothers return to work more quickly and for longer hours than West German mothers even two decades after reunification. Second, in exploiting migration across this old border, we document a strong asymmetry in the persistence of the culture in which women were raised. Whereas East German female migrants return to work earlier and work longer hours than their West German colleagues even after long exposure to the more traditional West German culture, West German migrants adjust their post-birth labor supply behavior nearly entirely to that of their East German colleagues. Finally, taking advantage of differential inflows of East German migrants across West German firms in the aftermath of reunification, we show that even a partial exposure to East German colleagues induces native West German mothers to accelerate their return to work after childbirth, suggesting that migration might be a catalyst for cultural change.

Co-authors: Barbara Boelmann (UCL) and Uta Schönberg (UCL)

If you wish to participate, please contact Lucia Vigna to receive the Zoom link.

Online via Zoom - DD/MM/YYYY
  Online via Zoom -

Abstract: Does the culture in which a woman grows up influence her labor market decisions once she has had a child? To what extent might the culture of her present social environment shape maternal labor supply? To address these questions, we exploit the setting of German reunification. A state socialist country, East Germany strongly encouraged mothers to participate in the labor market full-time, whereas West Germany propagated a more traditional male breadwinner-model. After reunification, these two cultures were suddenly thrown together, with consequent increased social interactions between East and West Germans through migration and commuting. A comparison of East and West German mothers on both sides of the former Inner German border within the same commuting zone shows that culture matters. Indeed, East German mothers return to work more quickly and for longer hours than West German mothers even two decades after reunification. Second, in exploiting migration across this old border, we document a strong asymmetry in the persistence of the culture in which women were raised. Whereas East German female migrants return to work earlier and work longer hours than their West German colleagues even after long exposure to the more traditional West German culture, West German migrants adjust their post-birth labor supply behavior nearly entirely to that of their East German colleagues. Finally, taking advantage of differential inflows of East German migrants across West German firms in the aftermath of reunification, we show that even a partial exposure to East German colleagues induces native West German mothers to accelerate their return to work after childbirth, suggesting that migration might be a catalyst for cultural change.

Co-authors: Barbara Boelmann (UCL) and Uta Schönberg (UCL)

If you wish to participate, please contact Lucia Vigna to receive the Zoom link.


Location:
Online via Zoom -

Affiliation:
Department of Economics

Type:
Seminar series

Contact:
Lucia Vigna (EUI - Department of Economics) - Send a mail

Organiser:
Prof. Andrea Ichino (EUI - Department of Economics)

Speaker:
Anna Raute (Queen Mary University London)

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