Lux Lucet in Tenebris: the role of Waldensian culture in reducing the gender-gap
27 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2021
Date Written: August 30, 2021
Do religious driven cultural norms contribute to the gender gap? Focusing on Italian municipalities in the Piedmont region, we study the long-run cultural effect of medieval Christian Waldensian communities on early XIX century female literacy rates. All outcomes of education gender gap are, on average, statistically and economically lower in municipalities hosting Waldensian communities. This effect persists until present, as women living in these municipalities have, on average, higher education levels. The effect extends also to labor market participation and women political representation. Our results confirm the importance that cultural and social norms have for women empowerment and gender gap reduction.
Keywords: Gender gap, Religion, Women Empowerment, Waldensians
JEL Classification: J16, N3, Z1
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