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Religion and labor force participation of women

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  • H'MADOUN, Maryam

Abstract

This article offers an empirical study of the influence of religiosity on women’s labor force participation across 48 countries. Using the 2005-wave of the World Values Survey, I examine whether and how the labor force participation of women aged 18 to 55 is affected by the core dimensions of individual religiosity, i.e. religious affiliation, intensity of belief and participation in religious services. The analysis supports the hypothesis of a significant difference in the labor force participation of religious and non-religious women. The likelihood of employment decreases with a person’s intensity of belief, but increases with participation in religious activities. Adherents of the Hindu and Muslim faith are the least likely to have paid work. These results are found after controlling for the standard human capital and household characteristics that influence female labor supply. When taking into account country-fixed effects, most religiosity variables lose their significance. This suggests that a country’s institutions, economic structure and socio-political context matter for the way religiosity comes into play in women’s work decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • H'MADOUN, Maryam, 2010. "Religion and labor force participation of women," Working Papers 2010007, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2010007
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