Working Paper No. 1295

Mothers, Peers and Gender-Role Identity

Published: July 4, 2019Pages: 42Keywords: Role models; Identity; Female labor supply; Peer effects; Workfamily conflictJEL-codes: J22; Z13

Mothers, Peers and Gender-Role Identity Claudia Olivetti, Eleonora Patacchini and Yves Zenou


We study whether a woman's labor supply as a young adult is shaped by the work behavior of her adolescent peers' mothers. Using detailed information on a sample of U.S. teenagers who are followed over time, we find that labor force participation of high school peers' mothers affects adult women's labor force participation, above and beyond the effect of their own mothers.

The analysis suggests that women who were exposed to a larger number of working mothers during adolescence are less likely to feel that work interferes with family responsibilities. This perception, in turn, is important for whether they work when they have children.

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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