June 2004

No. 1192: Job Protection: The Macho Hypothesis

published in: Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 2006, 22 (3), 390-410

This paper shows that employment protection is influenced by the male breadwinner conception which is itself shaped by religions. First, by using international individual surveys, we document that Catholics, Muslims and Orthodoxs are more likely to support such "macho values" than Protestants and atheists. Second, we develop a model showing that such a macho bias yields support to job protection legislation. This prediction is strongly supported by OECD panel data regressions including country-fixed effects.