Journal Article

Gender Role Attitudes and the Labour-market Outcomes of Women across OECD Countries

Nicole M Fortin

in Oxford Review of Economic Policy

Published on behalf of The Oxford Review of Economic Policy Ltd

Volume 21, issue 3, pages 416-438
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 0266-903X
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2121 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/gri024
Gender Role Attitudes and the Labour-market Outcomes of Women across OECD Countries

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This paper uses data from the World Value Surveys (1990, 1995,1999) to investigate the impact of gender role attitudes and work values on women's labour-market outcomes across 25 OECD countries. Anti-egalitarian views are found to display the strongest negative association with female employment rates and the gender pay gap. These views are, however, softening among recent cohorts. On the other hand, perceptions of women's role as homemakers, which are likely formed in youth and linked to religious ideology, are more persistent over time. They could be implicated in the recent slowdown of the gender convergence in pay. Finally, the unavoidable clash between family values and egalitarian views, that takes the form of an inner conflict for many women—the so-called ‘mother's guilt’—is another obstacle in the path towards greater gender equality in the labour market.

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Subjects: Economic Development and Growth ; Public Economics ; Political Economy ; Public Policy

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