The Roots of Low European Employment: Family Culture?

48 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2005

See all articles by Yann Algan

Yann Algan

Universite Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne - CNRS-EUREQUA; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Pierre Cahuc

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - National School for Statistical and Economic Administration (ENSAE); Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - Equipe Universitaire de Recherche en Economie Quantitative (EUREQUA); University of Angers - French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2005

Abstract

OECD countries faced largely divergent employment rates during the last decades. But the whole bulk of the cross-national and cross-temporal heterogeneity relies on specific demographic groups: prime-age women and younger and older individuals. This paper argues that family labor supply interactions and cross-country heterogeneity in family culture are key for explaining these stylized facts. First we provide a simple labor supply model in which heterogeneity in family preferences can account for cross-country variations in both the level and the dynamics of employment rates of demographic groups. Second, we provide evidence based on international individual surveys that family attitudes do differ across countries and are largely shaped by national features. We also document that cross-country differences in family culture cause cross-national differences in family attitudes. Studying the correlation between employment rates and family attitudes, we then show that the stronger preferences for family activities in European countries may explain both their lower female employment rate and the fall in the employment rates of young and older people.

Keywords: employment rate, culture, family attitudes

JEL Classification: J21, J22, Z13

Suggested Citation

Algan, Yann and Cahuc, Pierre, The Roots of Low European Employment: Family Culture? (July 2005). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1683. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=770084

Yann Algan

Universite Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne - CNRS-EUREQUA ( email )

106-112 Boulevard de l'Hopital
Paris Cedex 13, 75647
France

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Pierre Cahuc (Contact Author)

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - National School for Statistical and Economic Administration (ENSAE) ( email )

92245 Malakoff Cedex
France

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - Equipe Universitaire de Recherche en Economie Quantitative (EUREQUA) ( email )

106-112 Boulevard de l'Hopital
Paris Cedex 13, 75647
France
+33 1 4117 3717 (Phone)
+33 1 4117 3724 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://eurequa.univ-paris1.fr/membres/cahuc/

University of Angers - French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)

106-112 Boulevard de l'Hopital
75647 Paris Cedex 13
France
+33 4 44 07 82 06 (Phone)
+33 4 44 07 82 02 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
119
Abstract Views
1,164
rank
210,081
PlumX Metrics