Why Do Women and Men Differ in Their Preferences Towards Redistribution? an Analysis of Sibling-Parent Data in a Most Gender-Egalitarian Context

Friday, April 15, 2016
Assembly C (DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia Center City)
Mads Meier Jaeger , University of Copenhagen
Achim Goerres , University of Duisburg-Essen
This paper is about the consisting pattern of women reporting stronger pro-redistribution preferences than men in modern welfare states. Using unique survey data from Denmark (the Danish Longitudinal Survey of Youth – Children 2010), we test a variety of hypotheses on mixed-gender siblings who share 50 % genetics and the same family context. Denmark is a particular interesting national context to look at given its strong gender-egalitarian social norms and a large overall gender difference in preferences. The main findings are (1) brothers and sisters are on average as different as any random woman and man, (2) physical height is negatively associated with pro-redistribution preferences for men, but not for women, pointing at an unexpected primordial causal mechanism, (3) brothers and sisters’ redistribution preferences are much more similar in families with highly-educated mothers, suggesting a stronger diffusion process of values in such families, (4) brothers’ and sisters’ preferences are more similar in poorer families in which parents are more likely to be supportive of Left parties and their ideals, (5) mixed-sex siblings are not different in families in which public employment was common and thus a resourceful state needed. In essence, the findings suggest that the overall difference between men and women is the average effect from very stark differences in some constellations of upbringing and no differences in others. Moreover, the results give new credit to the idea of learning of welfare state preferences within the family and its family-context-dependency.
  • Goerres Meier Jaeger Gender and Preferences Redistribution 20160406.pdf (94.9 kB)