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Job protection: The Macho hypothesis

  • Pierre Cahuc
  • Yann Algan

The employment rate of women is twice as high in Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian countries compared to Mediterranean ones while this gap is close to zero for men. This phenomenon is generally explained by institutions such as labor market and family policies. In this paper it is argued that the institutions detrimental to women employment are shaped by the male breadwinner conception linked to religious values. First, by using international individual value surveys, we document that Catholic are more likely to support such "macho values" than the Protestant. Second, we develop a model showing that such a social status bias gives rise to job protection and family policies detrimental to women employment. These predictions are strongly supported by OECD panel data regressions including country-fixed effects.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2004 Meeting Papers with number 332.

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Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed004:332
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA
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  1. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2002. "People's Opium? Religion and Economic Attitudes," NBER Working Papers 9237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2004. "Why Are European Countries Diverging in Their Unemployment Experience?," IZA Discussion Papers 1066, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Giuseppe Bertola & Francine Blau & Lawrence Kahn, 2007. "Labor market institutions and demographic employment patterns," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 833-867, October.
  5. 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.
  6. Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998. "Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches," IFS Working Papers W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Gilles Saint-Paul, 2002. "The Political Economy of Employment Protection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 672-701, June.
  11. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2002. "Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel," NBER Working Papers 8931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Esping-Andersen, Gosta, 1999. "Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198742005.
  14. Rene M. Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2001. "Culture, Openness, and Finance," NBER Working Papers 8222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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