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Changing Gender Norms: The Effect of Paternity Leave on the Next Generation
May 13, 2022, 10:00 h
Andreasstrasse 15, 8050 Zurich, AND 4.06 (4th floor)
Traditional norms about gender roles in the family and the workplace have been put forward as one of the remaining barriers on the path to gender equality. We examine to which extent counter-stereotypical behavior of parents shapes gender norms of their children. To that end, we combine the national-level introduction of paternity leave in Spain with a unique, large-scale lab-in-the-field experiment conducted with children born around the policy change. We provide causal evidence that, at age 12, children whose fathers were eligible for paternity leave exhibit more egalitarian attitudes towards gender roles, are more supportive of mothers and fathers being equally engaged in the labor market and in the home and perceive less traditional social norms towards working mothers and fathers. They are also more engaged in counter-stereotypical day-to-day behaviors and expect to deviate from the male-breadwinner model in the future.