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Job Protection: The Macho Hypothesis

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  • Yann Algan
  • Pierre Cahuc

Abstract

This paper shows that the stringency of employment protection in Mediterranean countries can be partly explained by cultural values embedded in religion. Both the security provided by this legislation and its redistributive effects in favour of the male breadwinner insiders fit into the framework of Mediterranean religions. First, international individual surveys allow us to document that Catholics and Muslims are more likely to agree with traditional gender division of work than Protestants and the non-religious. Second, we develop a political economy model predicting that employment protection should be more stringent in countries where there is a larger share of insiders supportive of traditional family values. We then show that this prediction is supported by empirical evidence on OECD countries over the period 1970--99. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 22 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (Autumn)
Pages: 390-410

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:22:y:2006:i:3:p:390-410

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  1. Bertola, Giuseppe & Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence, 2002. "Labour Market Institutions and Demographic Employment Patterns," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3448, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  3. Gilles Saint-Paul, 2002. "The Political Economy of Employment Protection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 672-701, June.
  4. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2002. "People's Opium? Religion and Economic Attitudes," NBER Working Papers 9237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Carmen Pagés-Serra & James J. Heckman, 2000. "The Cost of Job Security Regulation: Evidence from Latin American Labor Markets," Research Department Publications, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department 4227, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  6. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2002. "Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel," NBER Working Papers 8931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Boeri, Tito & Conde-Ruiz, José Ignacio & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2003. "Protecting Against Labour Market Risk: Employment Protection or Unemployment Benefits?," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3990, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2004. "Why Are European Countries Diverging in Their Unemployment Experience?," IZA Discussion Papers 1066, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Stulz, Rene M. & Williamson, Rohan, 2003. "Culture, openness, and finance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 313-349, December.
  11. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers, Center for International Development at Harvard University 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  12. Carmen Pagés-Serra, 2000. "The Cost of Job Security Regulation: Evidence from Latin American Labor Markets," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  13. Esping-Andersen, Gosta, 1999. "Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780198742005, October.
  14. Richard B. Freeman, 1985. "Who Escapes? The Relation of Church-Going & Other Background Factors to the Socio-Economic Performance of Blk. Male Yths. from Inner-City Pvrty Tracts," NBER Working Papers 1656, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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