Does the cultural context matter? The effect of a country's gender-role attitudes on female labor supply

W.J.G. Uunk

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Despite substantial country variation in gender-role attitudes and female labor supply and theoretical arguments stressing the consequences of contextual attitudes for individual behavior, prior research did not find evidence for an effect of a country's gender-role attitudes on female labor supply. In this study I reassess this finding using a powerful multilevel design on the 2008 wave of the European Values Study on 33 countries. I find a substantial positive and independent effect of a country's egalitarian gender-role attitudes on individual women's odds of labor market attachment. The original, gross effect can for one-fourth be attributed to an effect of individual gender-role attitudes and one-tenth to an institutional effect. These findings indicate that the cultural (attitude) context matters for female labor supply.
Key words: gender-role attitudes, female labor supply, contextual effects, cross-national research
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-198
JournalEuropean Societies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • female labor supply
  • gender-role attitudes
  • contextual effects
  • cross-national research

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