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Working mothers and sons’ preferences regarding female labor supply: direct evidence from stated preferences


We investigate the argument that men who are raised by working mothers develop a preference that is favorable toward working women and, consequently, are more likely to have working wives. We test this hypothesis using the Japanese General Social Surveys 2000–2003. We directly examine the responses to the opinion survey’s questions regarding appropriate gender roles. The estimation results indicate that men raised by full-time working mothers are less likely to support traditional gender roles. Those men are also less likely to believe in the negative impact of a mother’s working on her children’s development.

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Correspondence to Daiji Kawaguchi.

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Responsible editor: Deborah Cobb-Clark

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Kawaguchi, D., Miyazaki, J. Working mothers and sons’ preferences regarding female labor supply: direct evidence from stated preferences. J Popul Econ 22, 115–130 (2009).

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  • Female labor supply
  • Social norm
  • Japan

JEL Classification

  • J12
  • J16
  • J22