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  4. Economic incentives, home production and gender norms




Economic incentives, home production and gender norms




This seminar is part of the Department of Economics Seminar Series 2018-19. The seminars are open to all - no registration necessary. If you would like to receive email notification of the Department’s seminars, please send your request to


Speaker: Prof Barbara Petrongolo (Queen Mary University of London)

Gender identity norms have attracted increasing attention as possible drivers of persistent gender gaps, although the extent to which they effectively restrict the behavior of couples is still debated.

The baseline allocation of home production between spouses may not be fully informative of gender norms, as it typically results from the combination of both couples' preferences/norms and economic incentives.

A direct test for the role of gender norms requires to measure how the time allocation of spouses is affected when the relative wage changes. We argue that the elasticity of substitution between spousal inputs in home production is related to the strength of gender norms governing gender roles, and asymmetric reactions to relative wage shocks reveal which type of norm (Traditional or Untraditional) would be binding.

By combining administrative information on home production in Sweden with the introduction in 2007 of a EITC that altered the relative wages of spouses, we find suggestive evidence of the relevance of both Traditional and Untraditional norms in different groups of the Swedish population.

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When and where

3.00pm - 4.30pmWednesday 7th February 2018

D112 Rhind Building City, University of London St John Street London EC1R 0JD United Kingdom