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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
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed004:332
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  1. 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.
  2. Esping-Andersen, Gosta, 1999. "Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198742005, March.
  3. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1999. "The Political Economy of Employment Protection," CEPR Discussion Papers 2109, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Tito Boeri & J.Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Vincenzo Galasso, 2003. "Protecting Against Labour Market Risk: Employment Protection or Unemployment Benefits?," Working Papers 239, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  5. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2004. "Why are European Countries Diverging in their Unemployment Experience?," IDEI Working Papers 269, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  6. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment Updates and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Rene M. Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2001. "Culture, Openness, and Finance," NBER Working Papers 8222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2002. "People's Opium? Religion and Economic Attitudes," NBER Working Papers 9237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998. "Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches," IFS Working Papers W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  12. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2002. "Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel," Scholarly Articles 3221170, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Carmen Pagés-Serra & James J. Heckman, 2000. "The Cost of Job Security Regulation: Evidence from Latin American Labor Markets," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4119, Inter-American Development Bank.
  14. Carmen Pagés-Serra, 2000. "The Cost of Job Security Regulation: Evidence from Latin American Labor Markets," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
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