Gender Norms and Specialization in Household Production: Evidence from a Danish Parental Leave Reform

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This paper shows that decisions regarding intra-household specializations are determined by gender norms rather than standard economic incentives. To test theoretical predictions of both the standard model of intra-household time allocation and the role of gender identity, social category and prescriptions, I use variation from a Danish parental leave reform. I find large effects among mothers and virtually unchanged behavior among fathers, irrespective of relative earnings in the household. This is consistent with the notion of pay-off from gender identity. Subsequently, I find peer effects among sisters and interpret this as reform-induced prescriptions regarding extensive leave for mothers.
UdgiverCopenhagen Business School [wp]
Antal sider47
StatusUdgivet - 2021
NavnWorking Paper / Department of Economics. Copenhagen Business School


  • Intra-household specialization
  • Gender norms
  • Parental leave
  • Peer effects