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Gender Culture and Gender Gap in Employment

  • Pamela Campa
  • Alessandra Casarico
  • Paola Profeta

This article analyzes to what extent gender culture affects gender gap in employment. Drawing on Italian data, we measure culture by building two indices: one based on individuals' attitudes, as done in the existing literature; one based on firms' attitudes. Firms' beliefs, which express their set of ideas, values and norms, though generally neglected, are as important as individuals' attitudes to explain female labor market outcomes. Using an instrumental variable analysis, we show that our index of gender culture based on firms' attitudes is significant in explaining gender gap in employment in Italian provinces. We show that the same holds when culture is measured with reference to individual attitudes. (JEL code: J16) Copyright The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Munich. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by CESifo in its journal CESifo Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 57 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 156-182

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:57:y:2011:i:1:p:156-182
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  1. Paola Giuliano, 2007. "Living Arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 927-952, 09.
  2. Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre, 2007. "Social Attitudes and Economic Development: An Epidemiological Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 6403, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe," CESifo Working Paper Series 1492, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Francois, Patrick, 1998. "Gender discrimination without gender difference: theory and policy responses," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 1-32, April.
  5. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2010. "The power of the family," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 93-125, June.
  6. Daniela Del Boca & Silvia Pasqua & Chiara Pronzato, 2004. "Employment and Fertility Decisions in Italy, France and the U.K," CHILD Working Papers wp08_04, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  7. Bjerk, David & Han, Seungjin, 2005. "Assortative Marriage and the Effects of Government Homecare Subsidy Programs on Gender Wage and Participation Inequality," working papers bjerk-05-11-21-10-55-45, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 06 Sep 2006.
  8. Raquel Fernandez, 2007. "Women, Work, and Culture," NBER Working Papers 12888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 23-48, Spring.
  10. Daniela Del Boca & Marilena Locatelli, 2006. "The Determinants of Motherhood and Work Status: a Survey," CHILD Working Papers wp15_06, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  11. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Fernández, Raquel, 2007. "Women, Work and Culture," CEPR Discussion Papers 6153, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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