A new GLO Discussion Paper finds that education indeed affects gender role attitudes in Europe.
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GLO Discussion Paper No. 793, 2021
Does education predict gender role attitudes?: Evidence from European datasets – Download PDF
by Deole, Sumit S. & Zeydanli, Tugba
GLO Fellow Sumit Deole
Author Abstract: This paper presents the first empirical evidence of the causal impact of individuals’ education on their attitudes towards traditional gender roles. We employ two national panel datasets from the UK and Switzerland and a repeated cross-sectional dataset with information from 13 Western European countries for the analysis. The causal impact of education on gender role attitudes is estimated by exploiting the exogenous variation in individuals’ education induced by the compulsory school reforms undertaken in European countries in the second half of the 20th century. We find evidence that an additional year of education instigates egalitarian gender role attitudes equivalent of 0.1-0.3 of a standard deviation. While education’s moderating effect is particularly prominent among women, no evidence of effect heterogeneity is found concerning the individuals’ religiosity. Our findings are robust to numerous checks performed and are briefly discussed for their policy relevance.
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