Attitudes: The Little Things That Make Big Differences The Impact of Attitudes on the Education and Labour Decisions of Women in the Netherlands
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Women’s participation in the labour market has increased dramatically over the past decades, however it still lacks behind that of men. This study aims to investigate the relationship between the level of education, labour market behaviour and women’s attitudes towards traditional gender roles. The paper examines whether these gender role attitudes have an important influence on the decisions related to pursuing higher levels of education. Additionally, we employ structural equation path analysis model in order to explore the relationship between gender role attitudes, the level of education and the weekly hours of work and to estimate the direct and indirect effects of the gender role attitudes and the level of education on the labour participation decision of women in the Netherlands. The results are dramatic. It is found that traditional attitudes substantially reduce the investment in education and that attitudes have crucial effect on the hours of work women spend within a week. We conclude that gender role attitudes have a significant and large impact on the decision of women in the Netherlands to invest in their education on the one hand, and on the decision to participate in the labour market on the other.