Lux Lucet in Tenebris: the Role of Waldensian Culture in Reducing the Gender Gap

27 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2021 Last revised: 22 Sep 2021

See all articles by Andrea Berlanda

Andrea Berlanda

University of Lausanne

Paolo Buonanno

University of Bergamo

Marcello Puca

University of Bergamo; CSEF - University of Naples Federico II - Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF); Webster University - Webster University Geneva

Date Written: August 30, 2021

Abstract

Do religiously 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 Waldensian Christian communities on early 19th century female literacy rates. All outcomes of the education gender gap are, on average, statistically and economically lower in municipalities that are home to Waldensian communities. This effect persists until present days, in that women living in these municipalities have, on average, higher education levels. The effect also extends to labor market participation and women's political representation. Our results confirm the importance of cultural and social norms for women's empowerment and the reduction of the gender gap.

Keywords: Gender Gap, Religion, Women Empowerment, Waldensians

JEL Classification: J16, N3, Z1

Suggested Citation

Berlanda, Andrea and Buonanno, Paolo and Puca, Marcello, Lux Lucet in Tenebris: the Role of Waldensian Culture in Reducing the Gender Gap (August 30, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3913889 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3913889

Andrea Berlanda

University of Lausanne ( email )

Quartier Chambronne
Lausanne, Vaud CH-1015
Switzerland

Marcello Puca (Contact Author)

University of Bergamo ( email )

Via dei Caniana 2
Bergamo, 24127
Italy

CSEF - University of Naples Federico II - Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF) ( email )

Via Cintia
Complesso Monte S. Angelo
Naples, Naples 80126
Italy

Webster University - Webster University Geneva ( email )

Route de Collex 15
Bellevue, CH- 1293
Switzerland

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