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Female Socialization: How Daughters Affect Their Legislator Fathers' Voting on Women's Issues

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Abstract:

Parenting daughters, sociologists have shown, increases feminist sympathies. I test the hypothesis that children, much like neighbors or peers, can influence parental behavior. I demonstrate that conditional on total number of children, each daughter increases a congressperson's propensity to vote liberally, particularly on reproductive rights issues. The results identify an important (and previously omitted) explanatory variable in the literature on congressional decision making. Additionally the paper highlights the relevance of child-to-parent behavioral influence.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/aer.98.1.311

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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