The role of mothers on female labour force participation: an approach using historical parish records Articles uri icon

publication date

  • February 2023

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0377-7332

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1435-8921


  • Using Portuguese parish data from 1675 to 1925, we estimate the relationship between a mother"s participation in the labour force and that of her daughter. We adapt a methodology to prevent bias that originates from potentially non-random missing data. Ignoring the missingness process results in substantial downward-biased estimates of the relationship, even for a proportion of missing values as low as 20 per cent. In contrast, our methodology yields unbiased estimates regardless of the proportion of missing values. We document the existence of a strong, positive association between the mother"s participation and that of her daughter long before the twentieth century"s substantial changes in education and the labour market


  • Economics


  • female labour force participation; intergenerational transmission; historical family data; church registry data; non-ignorable missingness; econometric methods for missing data