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Culture, Policies and Labor Market Outcomes

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  • Giavazzi, Francesco
  • Schiantarelli, Fabio
  • Serafinelli, Michel

Abstract

We study whether cultural attitudes towards gender, the young, and leisure are significant determinants of the evolution over time of the employment rates of women and of the young, and of hours worked in OECD countries. Beyond controlling for a larger menu of policies, institutions and structural characteristics of the economy than has been done so far, our analysis improves upon existing studies of the role of "culture" for labor market outcomes by dealing explicitly with the endogeneity of attitudes, policies and institutions, and by allowing for the persistent nature of labor market outcomes. When we do all this we find that culture still matters for women employment rates and for hours worked. However, policies and other institutional or structural characteristics are also important. Attitudes towards youth independence, however, do not appear to be important in explaining the employment rate of the young. In the case of women employment rates, the policy variable that is significant along with attitudes, is the OECD index of employment protection legislation. For hours worked the policy variables that play a role, along with attitudes, are the tax wedge and unemployment benefits. The quantitative impact of these policy variables is such that changes in policies have at least the potential to undo the effect of variations in cultural traits on labor market outcomes.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7536.

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Date of creation: Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7536

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Keywords: culture; gender; labor supply;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Anja Koebrich Leon, 2013. "Does Cultural Heritage affect Employment decisions – Empirical Evidence for Second Generation Immigrants in Germany," Working Paper Series in Economics 270, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  2. Nadereh Chamlou & Silvia Muzi & Hanane Ahmed, 2011. "Understanding the Determinants of Female Labor Force Participation in the Middle East and North Africa Region: The Role of Education and Social Norms in Amman," Working Papers 31, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium.
  3. Francesco Giavazzi & Ivan Petkov & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2014. "Culture: Persistence and Evolution," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 853, Boston College Department of Economics.
  4. Hélène Blake & Marc Sangnier, 2010. "Senior activity rate, retirement incentives and labor relations," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564826, HAL.
  5. Alberto Alesina & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Paola Giuliano, UCLA, 2010. "Family Values and the Regulation of Labor," Working Papers 2010.56, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  6. Anja Köbrich León, 2013. "Does Cultural Heritage Affect Employment Decisions: Empirical Evidence for First- and Second Generation Immigrants in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 553, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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