The Effect of Regional Gender-Role Attitudes on Female Labour Supply: A Longitudinal Test Using the BHPS, 1991–2007

Faculty/Professorship: Sociology, especially Social Inequality 
Author(s): Uunk, Wilfred ; Lersch, Philipp
Title of the compilation: European Sociological Review
Publisher Information: Oxford : Oxford Univ. Press
Year of publication: 2019
Issue: Published: 03 June 2019
Pages: Online-Ressource
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcz026
Despite considerable variation in gender-role attitudes across contexts and its claimed influence on female labour supply, studies provide little support for a contextual gender-role attitude effect. In this study, we reassess the contextual gender-role attitude effect on female labour supply because earlier studies are hampered by two shortcomings: (a) they are cross-nationally comparative, which makes it difficult to distinguish contextual attitude from institutional effects; (b) they are cross-sectional, which may bias the contextual attitude effect. We aim to overcome these shortcomings by performing longitudinal panel analyses on data from the British Household Panel Survey 1991–2007, comparing 138 counties within the United Kingdom. Our fixed-effects regressions report no significant and substantial association of regional, egalitarian gender-role attitudes with individual women’s labour supply, a finding which both holds for women’s probability to be active in the labour market and employed women’s working hours, and for women with and without (young) children. Female labour supply appears to be much stronger associated with women’s own and partners’ gender-role attitudes, in particular for women with (young) children.
Keywords: gender-role attitudes, norms, female labour supply, contextual effects, fixed-effects models
Type: Preprint
Year of publication: 2. July 2019