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Mutual Confirmation

Why do highly educated women choose to forgo their labor income in favor of family care responsibilities? Do social norms, economic realities, or a combination of both factors explain this phenomenon? This study uncovers a pattern where gender ideology and economic gains reinforce each other, jointly contributing to gender inequalities through three interconnected steps. Empirically, we focus on modern China—a society witnessing an increasing embrace of traditional gender ideology— and utilize data from the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS). Results are discussed in terms of the academic and policy implications concerning the revolution of gender ideologies, gender inequalities, and the division of labor.

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Capital Transfer

In social research, the intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic advantages is widely recognized, especially the substantial influences of parental socio-economic status on children’s educational attainment. However, two key aspects in this intergenerational transmission remain largely unexplored. First, it remains unclear whether a mother brings additional benefits to her children’s education if she underutilizes her education-related human capital in the labor market and dedicates more time to childcare. Second, while parental total resources are crucial in shaping children’s education, few studies have systematically investigated parental relative resources.

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The Creation of Social Capital

By synthesizing a structural perspective and an individual agentic perspective, this study proposes a new model of social capital with special relevance to stratification and inequalities.

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Educational aspirations

Due to cultural values, especially Confucianism, Chinese parents on average have high educational aspirations for their children. Nevertheless, rational considerations—such as academic performance and economic return—are also salient for parental aspirations in modern China. Incorporating a cultural with a rational perspective, this study examines the extent to which Chinese parents’ educational aspirations are influenced by cultural beliefs and based on rational considerations. 

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Improved Present, Unchangeable Past

Hiring decision holds the key to shaping labor market outcomes, and the hiring decision-makers are the “gatekeepers”; individual careers are strongly influenced by their affiliated organizations. This study investigates how affiliation upward mobility affects individual career outcomes. We examine two types of affiliation upward mobility--educational credentials and work experiences--in elite investment banking recruitment. 

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