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American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics: Vol. 1 No. 1 (January 2009)

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Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility

Article Citation

Fernández, Raquel, and Alessandra Fogli. 2009. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility." American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 1(1): 146-77.

DOI: 10.1257/mac.1.1.146

Abstract

We study culture by examining the work and fertility behavior of second-generation American women. Culture is proxied with past female labor force participation and total fertility rates from the woman's country of ancestry. The values of these variables capture not only economic and institutional conditions but also the country's preferences and beliefs regarding women's roles. Since the women live in the United States, only the belief and preference components are potentially relevant. We show that the cultural proxies have positive significant explanatory power even after controlling for education and spousal characteristics, and we demonstrate that the results are unlikely to be explained by unobserved human capital. (JEL: J13, J16, J22, J24, Z13)

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Authors

Fernández, Raquel (NYU and IZA)
Fogli, Alessandra (U MN)

JEL Classifications

J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
J16: Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
J22: Time Allocation and Labor Supply
J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
Z13: Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology

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American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics


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