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Culture, Policies and Labor Market Outcomes

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  • Francesco Giavazzi
  • Fabio Schiantarelli
  • Michel Serafinelli

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15417.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Publication status: published as Attitude, Policies and Work (12/2013) Francesco Giavazzi, Fabio Schiantarelli and Michel Serafinelli Journal of the European Economic Association vol. 11 (6), pp. 1256-1289
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15417

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Cited by:
  1. Blake, Hélène & Sangnier, Marc, 2011. "Senior activity rate, retirement incentives, and labor relations," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 5(8), pages 1-32.
  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. Alberto F. Alesina & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Paola Giuliano, 2010. "Family Values and the Regulation of Labor," NBER Working Papers 15747, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  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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