How Does the Personal Become Political? Assessing the Impact of Mothers’ Labor Force Participation on Daughters’ and Sons’ Political Skills and Behavior

Monica Caudillo, New York University (NYU)

Using longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, I assess whether exposure to a full-time working mother during women's middle childhood (6-11 years of age) has an impact on their political behavior and self-perceived political skills as young adults. I present results of propensity score weighting and genetic matching (Sekhon 2011) analyses for low and high-income families, along with sensitivity tests for hidden bias. Among low-income families, evidence across models shows exposure to a full-time working mother makes daughters more likely to engage in political organizing. According to sensitivity tests, unlikely large sources of hidden bias would be required to render these estimates statistically insignificant. No equally consistent and robust evidence of treatment effects was found for sons and high-income daughters.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Marriage, Unions, Families and Households