Why do women's economic decision-making and political empowerment vary so widely? What are the main potential determinants of such variations? Over a cross-section of Italian provincial data, we analyze the association between two specific facets of women's empowerment, the percentage of women holding office in local political bodies and the percentage of women in high-ranking jobs, and the religious and cultural conditions which facilitate or hinder women's inclusion. Our hypothesis is that culture, in particular those values embodied by religious culture, plays a central role in shaping norms and beliefs about the role and involvement of women in society. Moreover we suggest that these cultural norms are inherited from the past and therefore have a high degree of inertia. Both OLS and IV results indicate that our measures of women's empowerment are strongly associated with religious culture, as proxied by religious marriages. These results are robust and consistent across specifications.

On the historical roots of women's empowerment across Italian provinces: religion or family culture? / M. Bozzano. - In: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY. - ISSN 0176-2680. - 49:(2017), pp. 24-46. [10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2016.12.002]

On the historical roots of women's empowerment across Italian provinces: religion or family culture?

M. Bozzano
2017

Abstract

Why do women's economic decision-making and political empowerment vary so widely? What are the main potential determinants of such variations? Over a cross-section of Italian provincial data, we analyze the association between two specific facets of women's empowerment, the percentage of women holding office in local political bodies and the percentage of women in high-ranking jobs, and the religious and cultural conditions which facilitate or hinder women's inclusion. Our hypothesis is that culture, in particular those values embodied by religious culture, plays a central role in shaping norms and beliefs about the role and involvement of women in society. Moreover we suggest that these cultural norms are inherited from the past and therefore have a high degree of inertia. Both OLS and IV results indicate that our measures of women's empowerment are strongly associated with religious culture, as proxied by religious marriages. These results are robust and consistent across specifications.
Family culture; Glass ceiling; Historical determinants; Politics; Religion; Women's empowerment
Settore SECS-P/01 - Economia Politica
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/934011
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