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Female Labour Force Participation in Arab Countries: The Role of Identity

Tobias Caris and Bernd Hayo
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Tobias Caris: Philipps-University Marburg

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Pierre Siklos ()

No 201241, MAGKS Papers on Economics from Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung)

Abstract: We investigate why female labour market participation is low in the Arab region. Utilising Akerlof and Kranton’s (2000) ‘identity economics’ approach, we show in a simple gametheoretic framework that women socialised in a traditional family environment violate their identities by taking a job. In the empirical analysis, we study the respective impact of two determinants of identity in the Arab region, Islam and cultural tradition. Employing two waves of the World Values Survey, we find significant evidence that identity affects female labour market participation. Moreover, our estimates suggest that in the Arab region, Muslim women do not participate in the labour market less than non-Muslim women, whereas those with strong traditional identities have a 7 percentage point lower probability of entering the labour market.

Keywords: Female labour market participation; Arab region; Islam; Identity; Religion (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J16 J21 Z12 Z13 O53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ara, nep-dem, nep-lab and nep-lma
Date: 2012
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:mar:magkse:201241

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