Religion, Attitudes Towards Working Mothers and Wives' Full-Time Employment

OIF Working Paper No. 39-2004

26 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2004

See all articles by Guido Heineck

Guido Heineck

University of Bamberg; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: October 2004


This paper uses ISSP-data from the 1990's to analyze the relationship between religion and attitudes towards working mothers both within and across Austria, West and East Germany, Italy, the UK, and the US. In addition, the sub-sample of husbands is used to examine whether these attitudes along with males' religious involvement affect wives' full-time employment. Reinforcing previous research, Austrians and West Germans are the most conservative individuals across the countries examined, whereas British and US-Americans are the most liberal. Denominational affiliation as well as religious participation correlates positively with traditional attitudes across and, though weaker, within countries. Regarding full-time labor participation of wives, the results suggest for a negative effect of both males' attitudes and religious affiliation. Husbands' frequency of church attendance, however, does not affect the likelihood of wives' full-time employment.

Keywords: Attitudes, female labor participation, religion, comparative research

JEL Classification: I12, J30, J70

Suggested Citation

Heineck, Guido, Religion, Attitudes Towards Working Mothers and Wives' Full-Time Employment (October 2004). OIF Working Paper No. 39-2004. Available at SSRN: or

Guido Heineck (Contact Author)

University of Bamberg

Feldkirchenstr. 21
Bamberg, 96052

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

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