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Politico-Economic Regimes and Attitudes: Female Workers Under State-Socialism - Pamela Campa

Date & Time:
March 16, 2016 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
SS 423
Dr. Pamela Campa

ABSTRACT:   This paper investigates the extent to which attitudes are affected by political regimes and government policies. We focus on female attitudes toward work and gender-role attitudes, exploiting the imposition of state-socialist regimes across Central and Eastern Europe, and the fact that the new regimes encouraged women's employment, for both ideological and, probably more importantly, instrumental reasons. We use two different identification strategies and datasets. First, we take advantage of the German partition into East and West after 1945 and restricted-access information on place of residence to execute a spatial regression discontinuity design. We find more positive attitudes toward work in the sample of women who used to live in East Germany. Second, we employ a difference-in-differences strategy that compares attitudes formed in Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) and Western European Countries (WECs), before and after the imposition of state socialism in CEECs. Gender-role attitudes formed in CEECs during the state socialist period appear to be significantly less traditional than those formed in WECs. In terms of potential channels, we find suggestive evidence for a role of women's increased experience of employment, and possibly improvements in education, in shaping their attitudes. Overall, our study addresses previous identification and data limitations and finds that attitudes are profoundly affected by politico-economic regimes.

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