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The Implications of Cultural Background on Labour Market Choices: The Case of Religion and Entrepreneurship

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  • Nunziata, Luca

    (University of Padova)

  • Rocco, Lorenzo

    (University of Padova)

Abstract

We suggest a methodology for identifying the implications of alternative cultural and social norms embodied by religious denomination on labour market outcomes, by estimating the differential impact of Protestantism versus Catholicism on the propensity to be an entrepreneur, on the basis of the diverse minority status of both confessions across European regions. Our quasi-experimental research design exploits the stronger degree of attachment to religious ethic of religious minorities and the exogenous historical determination of the geographical distribution of religious minorities in Europe. Our analysis of European Social Survey data collected in four waves between 2002 and 2008 in 22 European countries, indicates that cultural background has a significant effect on the individual propensity to become an entrepreneur, with Protestantism increasing the chances to be an entrepreneur by around 3% with respect to Catholicism. Our findings, stable across a number of robustness checks, provide further evidence on the need to take cultural elements into consideration when analysing economic behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • Nunziata, Luca & Rocco, Lorenzo, 2011. "The Implications of Cultural Background on Labour Market Choices: The Case of Religion and Entrepreneurship," IZA Discussion Papers 6114, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6114
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    Cited by:

    1. Clark, Ken & Drinkwater, Stephen & Robinson, Catherine, 2015. "Self?Employment amongst Migrant Groups in England and Wales: New Evidence from Census Microdata," IZA Discussion Papers 9539, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Rietveld, C.A. & van Burg, E., 2013. "Religious beliefs and entrepreneurship among Dutch protestants," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2013-015-STR, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    3. Ken Clark & Stephen Drinkwater & Catherine Robinson, 2017. "Self-employment amongst migrant groups: new evidence from England and Wales," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 1047-1069, April.
    4. Cornelius A. Rietveld & Brigitte Hoogendoorn, 2022. "The mediating role of values in the relationship between religion and entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 58(3), pages 1309-1335, March.
    5. Henley, Andrew, 2014. "Is Religion Associated with Entrepreneurial Activity?," IZA Discussion Papers 8111, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Baumann, Florian & Brändle, Tobias, 2012. "Self-employment, educational attainment and employment protection legislation," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 846-859.
    7. Miao, Shuchao & Chi, Jing & Liao, Jing & Qian, Long, 2021. "How does religious belief promote farmer entrepreneurship in rural China?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 95-104.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    entrepreneurship; self-employment; religion; culture; Protestantism; Catholicism;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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