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Gender in Language and Gender in Employment

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  • Astghik Mavisakalyan

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Abstract

Women lag behind men in many domains. Feminists have proposed that sex-based grammatical gender systems in languages reinforce traditional conceptions of gender roles, which in turn contribute to disadvantaging women. This article evaluates the empirical plausibility of this claim in the context of the labour market outcomes of women. Based on a sample of over 100 countries, the analysis shows that places where the majority language is gender-intensive have lower participation rates of women in the labour force. Individual level estimates further underscore this finding and indicate a higher prevalence of genderdiscriminatory attitudes among speakers of gender-intensive languages.

Suggested Citation

  • Astghik Mavisakalyan, 2011. "Gender in Language and Gender in Employment," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2011-563, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:acb:cbeeco:2011-563
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    File URL: https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/econ/wp563.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Masters, William A & McMillan, Margaret S, 2001. "Climate and Scale in Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 167-186, September.
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    5. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn, 2013. "On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 469-530.
    6. Licht, Amir N. & Goldschmidt, Chanan & Schwartz, Shalom H., 2007. "Culture rules: The foundations of the rule of law and other norms of governance," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 659-688, December.
    7. M. Keith Chen, 2011. "The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior: Evidence from Savings Rates, Health Behaviors, and Retirement Assets," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1820, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Dec 2012.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gay, Victor & Hicks, Daniel L. & Santacreu-Vasut, Estefania & Shoham, Amir, 2017. "Decomposing culture: An analysis of gender, language, and labor supply in the household," MPRA Paper 77637, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. van der Velde, Lucas & Tyrowicz, Joanna & Siwinska, Joanna, 2015. "Language and (the estimates of) the gender wage gap," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 165-170.
    3. Astghik Mavisakalyan & Yashar Tarverdi, 2017. "Gender and climate change: Do female parliamentarians make a difference?," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1704, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.
    4. Astghik Mavisakalyan & Yashar Tarverdi, 2017. "Oil and Women: A Re-examination," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1706, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.
    5. Astghik Mavisakalyan & Yashar Tarverdi & Clas Weber, 2017. "Talking in the Present, caring for the Future: Language and Environment," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1703, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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