The Transmission of Work Centrality within the Family in a Cross-Regional Perspective


Young adults’ work values evolve as they are socialized into education and work. We study a core concept of work values, work centrality, and distinguish between an extrinsic dimension, that is, the relative importance of work; and an intrinsic dimension, that is, nonfinancial employment commitment. Using data collected by the CUPESSE project on two generations of families in nine European countries, we explore the congruence of work values between parents and adolescents and the effect of the regional-level social and economic context on young adults’ work values. We find, first, that parental influence is the most robust determinant of extrinsic and intrinsic work centrality in adolescents. Second, the relative importance of work to young women varies across regions, but the variation is explained in part by female labor force participation rates in those regions. Third, differing patterns of extrinsic and intrinsic work centrality across European regions are explained, in part, by gender, education, and subjective financial satisfaction.

The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science