Can education reduce traditional gender role attitudes?


Many studies report a strong correlation between gender role attitudes and the economy. Determining which factors are affecting them is crucial to avoid negative consequences. This paper identifies the causal relationship between education and traditional gender role attitudes. I use data from the European Social Survey for 14 European countries, along with a quasi-experimental approach that exploits exogenous variation in compulsory schooling across countries and year of birth. I find that for women from a poor family background, education reduces the probability of agreeing with traditional gender norms in more than 11 percentage points.

Keywords: Compulsory schooling reforms, education, Europe, Gender norms, gender-role attitudes