Briefing paper
1 May 2020

Like father, like son, like mother, like daughter: Intergenerational transmission of intrahousehold gender norms in Ethiopia

Author: Jessica Leight
Published by: Self published
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First page of paper

This paper draws on a novel large-scale dataset from rural Ethiopia to analyze the intergenerational transmission of male dominance in decision-making. More specifically, it analyzes whether male dominance in decision-making, male engagement in household tasks and intimate partner violence in currently formed marital households is correlated with the patterns of male dominance reported in the natal households of both the husband and wife, an analysis conducted for the first
time in a developing country context. The empirical results suggest that patterns of male dominance have shifted rapidly in a single generation, and there is very little evidence of any intergenerational transmission. More specifically, the estimated relationships between male dominance in the natal and marital households are varying in sign and statistically insignificant. This paper presents further evidence that this pattern may reflect a very weak intrahousehold correlation in gender norms between husband and wife: male dominance in the natal household is predictive of individual gender norms, but gender norms are on average not similar comparing across spouses.