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Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 5–27 | Cite as

Political regimes and the family: how sex-role attitudes continue to differ in reunified Germany

  • Stefan Bauernschuster
  • Helmut RainerEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

We exploit the German separation and later reunification to investigate whether political regimes can shape attitudes about appropriate roles for women in the family and the labor market. During the divided years, East German institutions encouraged female employment, while the West German system deterred women, in particular mothers, from full-time employment. Our results show that East Germans are significantly more likely to hold egalitarian sex-role attitudes than West Germans. Despite a scenario of partial policy convergence after reunification, we find no evidence for a convergence process in gender attitudes. Indeed, if anything, the gap in attitudes rather increased.

Keywords

Political regimes Gender-role attitudes German reunification 

JEL Classification

J13 J16 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are indebted to the responsible editor, Junsen Zhang, and two anonymous referees for helpful comments and suggestions.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ifo Institute for Economic ResearchUniversity of MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.CESifoMunichGermany

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