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Intergenerational Transmission of Gender Attitudes: Evidence from India (WP-15-26)

Diva Dhar, Tarun Jain, and Seema Jayachandran

This paper examines the intergenerational transmission of gender attitudes in India, a setting where discrimination against women and girls is severe. The researchers use survey data on gender attitudes (specifically, views about the appropriate roles and rights of women and girls) collected from adolescents attending 314 schools in the state of Haryana, and their parents. They find that when a parent holds a more discriminatory attitude, his or her child is about 15 to 20 percentage points more likely to hold the view. As a benchmark, classmates' average gender attitudes have a similar effect size. They find that mothers influence children's gender attitudes more than fathers do. Parental attitudes also affect their children's aspirations; girls with more discriminatory parents are less likely to want to continue their schooling beyond high school.

Diva Dhar, Indian Statistical Institute

Tarun Jain, Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Indian School of Business

Seema Jayachandran, Associate Professor of Economics and Faculty Associate, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University

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