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Job Protection: The Macho Hypothesis

  • Yann Algan
  • Pierre Cahuc

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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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. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-63, July.
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  3. 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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  7. Carmen Pagés-Serra & James J. Heckman, 2000. "The Cost of Job Security Regulation: Evidence from Latin American Labor Markets," Research Department Publications 4227, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  8. Boeri, Tito & Conde-Ruiz, José Ignacio & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2003. "Protecting Against Labour Market Risk: Employment Protection or Unemployment Benefits?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3990, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel & Glenda Quintini, 2001. "The Beveridge curve, unemployment and wages in the OECD from the 1960s to the 1990s - preliminary version," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20113, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Rene M. Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2001. "Culture, Openness, and Finance," NBER Working Papers 8222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1999. "The Political Economy of Employment Protection," CEPR Discussion Papers 2109, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998. "Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches," IFS Working Papers W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  13. Richard B. Freeman, 1986. "Who Escapes? The Relation of Churchgoing and Other Background Factors to the Socioeconomic Performance of Black Male Youths from Inner-City Tracts," NBER Chapters, in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 353-376 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2002. "Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel," Scholarly Articles 3221170, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. Carmen Pagés-Serra, 2000. "The Cost of Job Security Regulation: Evidence from Latin American Labor Markets," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Fall 2000), pages 109-154, August.
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