Do Historical Agro-Ecological Factors Shape Current Attitudes Towards Women’s Rights and Abilities?
28 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2023 Last revised: 13 Apr 2023
Date Written: January 24, 2023
A growing strand of literature documents how historical agricultural and ecological factors continue to determine women’s role and well-being in society through cultural transmission even today. Studies have shown that such factors are significantly associated with perceptions regarding women’s right to jobs and their abilities as political leaders. However, scant attention has been paid to women’s ability as business executives and their democratic rights. Using individual level observations from multiple waves of the World Values Survey, this paper investigates whether these historical and ecological factors can explain perceptions regarding women’s democratic rights and their ability as business executives. Overall, our findings support the existing literature and show that historical agricultural and ecological factors (ancestral plough use, Neolithic transition, and ancestral resource endowments) have a much broader impact on women’s rights and abilities in diverse contexts including the labor force, business, and politics. Given the robustness of this phenomenon, it calls for broad affirmative action favoring women in different social spheres.
Keywords: Historical agro-ecological factors, culture, women’s rights and abilities, gender inequality, female labor force participation
JEL Classification: J16, N50, O11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation