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Culture, Policies and Labor Market Outcomes

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  • Francesco Giavazzi
  • Fabio Schiantarelli
  • Michel Serafinelli

Abstract

We study whether cultural attitudes towards gender, the young, and leisure are significant determinants of the evolution over time of the employment rates of women and of the young, and of hours worked in OECD countries. Beyond controlling for a larger menu of policies, institutions and structural characteristics of the economy than has been done so far, our analysis improves upon existing studies of the role of "culture" for labor market outcomes by dealing explicitly with the endogeneity of attitudes, policies and institutions, and by allowing for the persistent nature of labor market outcomes. When we do all this we find that culture still matters for women employment rates and for hours worked. However, policies and other institutional or structural characteristics are also important. Attitudes towards youth independence, however, do not appear to be important in explaining the employment rate of the young. In the case of women employment rates, the policy variable that is significant along with attitudes, is the OECD index of employment protection legislation. For hours worked the policy variables that play a role, along with attitudes, are the tax wedge and unemployment benefits. The quantitative impact of these policy variables is such that changes in policies have at least the potential to undo the effect of variations in cultural traits on labor market outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Giavazzi & Fabio Schiantarelli & Michel Serafinelli, 2009. "Culture, Policies and Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 15417, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15417
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    Cited by:

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    2. Francesco Giavazzi & Ivan Petkov & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2019. "Culture: persistence and evolution," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 117-154, June.
    3. MAZEIKAITE Gintare & O'DONOGHUE Cathal & SOLOGON Denisa, 2017. "Decomposing health inequality in the EU," LISER Working Paper Series 2017-02, Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER).
    4. Alberto Alesina & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Paola Giuliano, 2015. "Family Values And The Regulation Of Labor," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 599-630, August.
    5. Angela Cipollone & Eleonora Patacchini & Giovanna Vallanti, 2014. "Female labour market participation in Europe: novel evidence on trends and shaping factors," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-40, December.
    6. Muller,Miriam & Sousa,Liliana Do Couto, 2020. ""She Helps Me All the Time" : Underestimating Women's Economic Engagement in Rural Honduras," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9217, The World Bank.
    7. Zhan, Crystal, 2015. "Money v.s. prestige: Cultural attitudes and occupational choices," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 44-56.
    8. Tomasz Zgrzywa & Joanna Tyrowicz & Stanisław Cichocki, 2017. "Czynniki wpływające na czas poszukiwania pierwszego zatrudnienia," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 6, pages 31-56.
    9. Anja Köbrich León, 2013. "Does Cultural Heritage Affect Employment Decisions: Empirical Evidence for First- and Second Generation Immigrants in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 553, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    10. Alberto Alesina & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Paola Giuliano, 2015. "Family Values And The Regulation Of Labor," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 599-630, August.
    11. Anja Koebrich Leon, 2013. "Does Cultural Heritage affect Employment decisions – Empirical Evidence for Second Generation Immigrants in Germany," Working Paper Series in Economics 270, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    12. Lisi, Gaetano & Ruiu, Gabriele & Lucidi, Federico, 2012. "Data report on work attitudes - Background paper," MPRA Paper 62316, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Nadereh Chamlou & Silvia Muzi & Hanane Ahmed, 2011. "Understanding the Determinants of Female Labor Force Participation in the Middle East and North Africa Region: The Role of Education and Social Norms in Amman," Working Papers 31, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium.
    14. Angela Cipollone & Eleonora Patacchini & Giovanna Vallanti, 2013. "Women Labor Market Performance In Europe:Novel Evidence On Trends And Shaping Factors," Working Papers LuissLab 13107, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
    15. Gintare Mazeikaite & Cathal O’Donoghue & Denisa M. Sologon, 2021. "What Drives Cross-Country Health Inequality in the EU? Unpacking the Role of Socio-economic Factors," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 155(1), pages 117-155, May.

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    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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