On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough∗

Alberto Alesina† Paola Giuliano‡ April 2011 Nathan Nunn§

Abstract: This paper seeks to better understand the historic origins of current differences in norms and beliefs about the appropriate role of women in society. We test the hypothesis that traditional agricultural practices influenced the historic gender division of labor and the evolution and persistence of gender norms. We find that, consistent with existing hypotheses, the descendants of pre-industrial societies that practiced plough agriculture, today have lower rates of female participation in the work place, in politics, and in entrepreneurial activities, as well as attitudes reflecting gender inequality. We identify the causal impact of traditional plough use on gender norms today by exploiting variation in the historic geo-climatic suitability of the environment for growing crops that differentially benefited from the adoption of the plough. Our IV estimates, based on this variation, support the findings from OLS. To isolate the importance of cultural transmission as a mechanism, we examine female labor force participation of second generation immigrants living within the US.

thank Samuel Bowles, David Clingingsmith, Pauline Grosjean, Judith Hellerstein, Edward Miguel, as well as seminar participants at the Bank of Italy, Brown University, Harvard University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, MIT, New York University, Sciences Po, UCLA Kaler Meeting, University of Oklahoma, Washington University St. Louis, World Bank, Stanford’s SITE Conference, Coevolution of Behaviors and Institutions Conference, AEA Annual Meetings, Brooking Africa Growth Forum, and the IZA/Science Po Workshop on Trust, Civic Spirit and Economic Performance for valuable comments. We also thank Eva Ng for excellent research assistance. Giuliano gratefully acknowledges support from the UCLA Senate. † Harvard University, IGIER Bocconi, NBER and CEPR. (email: aalesina@harvard.edu) ‡ University of California Los Angeles, NBER, CEPR and IZA. (email: paola.giuliano@anderson.ucla.edu) § Harvard University, NBER and BREAD. (email: nnunn@fas.harvard.edu)

∗ We


1. Introduction
The role of women in the family, in the work force, and in society varies across nations. In some cultures the social norm is for women to work outside the house, while in others the norm is for women to remain within the home, not actively participating in activities outside of the domestic sphere. This study seeks to better understand the reasons underlying these differences. We test the hypothesis, originally put forth by Boserup (1970), that cross-cultural differences in gender role norms and attitudes arose from differences in agricultural technologies used traditionally. In particular, she identifies important differences between shifting cultivation and plough cultivation. Shifting cultivation, which uses hand-held tools like the hoe and the digging stick, is labor intensive and women actively participate in farm work. Plough cultivation, by contrast, is much more capital intensive, using the plough to prepare the soil. Unlike the hoe or digging stick, the plough requires significant upper body strength, grip strength, and burst of power, which are needed to either pull the plough or control the animal that pulls it.1 Because of these requirements, when plough agriculture is practiced, men have an advantage in farming relative to women (Murdock and Provost, 1973a). Also reinforcing this gender-bias in ability is the fact that when the plough is used, there is less need for weeding, a task typically undertaken by women and children (Foster and Rosenzweig, 1996). In addition, child care, a task almost universally performed by women, is most compatible with activities that can be stopped and resumed easily and do not put children in danger. These are characteristics that hold for hoe agriculture, but not for plough agriculture, especially if animals are used to pull the plough. The result is that societies that traditionally practiced plough agriculture – rather than shifting cultivation – developed a specialization of production along gender lines. Men tended to work outside of the home in the fields, while women specialized in activities within the home.2 This
1 See Pitt, Rosenzweig and Hassan (2010) for evidence from Bangladesh and the USA on the distribution of strength by gender. 2 Boserup (1970) in her analysis clearly describes the relationship between traditional plough use and gender norms, even hypothesizing that the use of the veil may be associated with traditional plough use. She writes that plough cultivation “shows a predominantly male labor force. The land is prepared for sowing by men using draught animals, and this. . . leaves little need for weeding the crop, which is usually the women’s task. . . Because village women work less in agriculture, a considerable fraction of them are completely freed from farm work. Sometimes such women perform purely domestic duties, living in seclusion within their own homes only appearing in the street wearing a veil, a phenomenon associated with plough culture and seemingly unknown in regions of shifting cultivation where women do most of the agricultural toil.” (pp. 13–14)


division of labor then generated norms about the appropriate role of women in society.3 Societies characterized by plough agriculture, and the resulting gender division of labor, developed the belief that the natural place for women is within the home. These cultural beliefs tend to persist even even if the economy moves out of agriculture, affecting the participation of women on activities performed outside of the home, such as market employment, entrepreneurship, or participation in politics. To test Boserup’s hypothesis, we combine pre-industrial ethnographic data, reporting whether societies traditionally used plough agriculture with contemporary measures of individuals’ views about gender roles, as well as measures of female participation in activities outside of the home. Our analysis examines variation across countries, ethnic groups, and individuals. Consistent with Boserup’s hypothesis, we find a strong and robust negative relationship between historic plough-use and attitudes of gender equality today. Traditional plough-use is positivly correlated with attitudes reflecting gender inequality and negatively correlated with female labor force participation, female firm ownership, and female participation in politics. Although these findings support Boserup’s hypothesis, they are also consistent with other interpretations. For example, we would observe the same relationships if societies with attitudes favoring gender inequality were more likely to adopt the plough historically and if these attitudes continue to persist today. To better understand whether past plough use did have a causal impact on subsequent cultural norms, we instrument historic plough-use using specific geo-climatic conditions of a society’s historic location which affected the relative benefits of adopting the plough. As Pryor (1985) shows, the benefit of the plough depends on the crop being cultivated. The plough is more beneficial for crops that require large tracts of land to be prepared in a short period of time (e.g., due to multiple-cropping), and can only be grown in soils that are not shallow, sloped, or rocky.4 These crops, which Pryor refers to as ‘plough-positive’, include teff, wheat, barley, rye and wet rice. These can be contrasted to ‘plough-negative’ crops, such as maize, sorghum, millet and various types of root and tree crops, which require less land to be prepared over a longer period of time, and/or can be cultivated on thin, sloped or rocky soils,
3 Prior to Boserup anthropologists and ethnographers had recognized a relationship between traditional gender roles and the use of the hoe (Baumann, 1928). However, Boserup was the first to argue for the impact of hoe and plough use on the subsequent evolution of norms and values, and their importance for the development process. 4 For a recent study documenting the link between soil type and plough-use in modern India see Carranza (2010). In particular, she shows that plough technology is more likely to be adopted with deep loamy soils rather than shallow clay soils.


where using the plough is difficult. Unlike plough-positive crops, plough-negative crops benefit much less from the adoption of the plough. Using data from the FAO, we identify the geo-climatic suitability of finely defined locations for growing plough-positive cereals (wheat, barley and rye) and plough-negative cereals (sorghum and millet). We then use the relative differences in ethnic groups’ geo-climatic conditions for growing plough-positive and plough-negative cereals as instruments for historic plough use. We find that the IV estimates provide results consistent with the OLS estimates. Traditional plough use is associated with attitude of gender inequality, as well as less female labor force participation, female firm-ownership, and female participation in politics. Our analysis then considers potential underlying mechanisms. It is possible that the long-term effect of the plough reflects persistent cultural beliefs. However, it is also possible that part of the long-term impact arises because historic plough-use promoted the development of institutions, policies and markets that are less conducive to the participation of women in activities outside of the home.5 To distinguish these two channels we exploit the fact that cultural norms and beliefs – unlike institutions, policies and markets – are internal to the individual. Therefore, when individuals move, their beliefs and values move with them, but their external environment remains behind. Exploiting this fact, we examine variation in cultural heritage among second generation immigrants living in the US. All individuals born and raised in the US have been exposed to the same institutions and markets. In effect, the analysis holds all external factors constant, while examining variation in individuals’ internal beliefs and values. We find that women from cultures that historically used the plough have lower rates of labor force participation in the US. This provides evidence that part of the importance of the plough arises through its impact on internal beliefs and values. The relationship between traditional plough use and gender roles has been well-studied in the fields of history, anthropology and sociology. Since Boserup’s initial hypothesis, various scholars have, through qualitative analysis, examined the relationship between the plough and attitudes toward gender roles (Goody, 1976, Whyte, 1978 and Braudel, 1998). A particularly interesting case is Braudel’s (1998) description of how gender relations, culture, and society were impacted by the adoption of the plough in Mesopotamia between 4,000 and 6,000 BC. He writes: “Until
5 See the recent studies by Alesina, Algan, Cahuc and Giuliano (2010), Guiso, Sapienza and Zingales (2008b) and Tabellini (2008) that investigate feedback effects between culture and institutions.


and towards the male gods and priests who were predominant in Sumer and Babylon. including economic development. 2009). Iversen and Rosenbluth. medical progress. 6 One 4 . 2005. Ross. they contribute a number of recent studies that also seek to explain the historic determinants of various cultural characteristics today. A number of existing studies have examined other important determinants. and the production structure of the economy (e. which are particularly well-suited for female employment.g. At a stroke. For instance. . and was accompanied with a move towards male domination of society and its beliefs” (p. 2008. then herdsmen. 71). are unimportant.now. . . 2006. 2010. even accounting for these important factors. Our focus on a historical determinant of gender roles is not meant to imply that other factors.. 2010. We provide evidence for this in section 4 where we show a very strong positive relationship between pre-industrial female participation in agriculture and female labor force participation today. Therefore. particularly factors that can change significantly over time. and Albanesi and Olivetti.6 As we show in section 4. 2007. women had been in charge of the fields and gardens where cereals were grown: everything had depended on their tilling the soil and tending the crop. Our findings add to a recent line of research that has emphasized the importance of cultural norms and beliefs as important factors underlying the persistent differences in gender roles across societies (Alesina and Giuliano. like textiles and footwear. 2009). Guiso. Fernandez. Men had been first hunters. and Fortin. it might seem that the society would move from being matriarchal to patriarchal: that there would be a shift away from the reign of the all-powerful mother goddesses. Our findings suggest that an important determinant of these differences is the nature of traditional farming practices. Our findings also provide an example of how historic factors shape the evolution and persistent of norms and beliefs. But now men took over the plough. which they alone were allowed to use. 2009. Thus. Goldin. Fernandez and Fogli. Sapienza and of the more novel hypotheses is provided by Ross who argues that countries that specialize in oil production crowd out the production of low-end export-oriented manufacturing activities. there remains a strong persistent impact of the plough on gender norms today. 2007. . Although the link between gender norms and female labor force participation is wellestablished. specialization in oil results in less female labor force participation and attitudes of gender inequality. A logical implication of our finding of a deep historical determinant of gender norms is that there must be some persistence in gender norms and female activity outside of the home over time. We test explicitly for Ross’ hypothesis in our analysis. little is known about the origin of these cultural differences.

7 See also Guiso. In section 3. Information for societies in the sample have been coded for the earliest period for which satisfactory ethnographic data are available or can be reconstructed. The earliest observation dates are for groups in the Old World where early written evidence is available. even for these observations. Our analysis relies on information on traditional plough use taken from the Ethnographic Atlas. The historic impacts of traditional plough use We begin our analysis by first confirming that societies that traditionally used plough agriculture had lower female participation in agricultural activities. However. examining variation across individuals and countries. In section 6. using second generation US immigrants to test for persistent impacts of the plough arising through cultural transmission. the data should capture. Sapienza and Zingales (2004) on social capital and financial development. we then explain the procedure used to link the historical use of the plough. 5 . Hainz and Woessman (2010) examine the lasting impact that historic empires had on cultural outcomes. Section 7 offers concluding thoughts. We begin our analysis by first documenting that in societies that traditionally used plough agriculture women did in fact participate less in farm-work and other activities outside of the domestic sphere.7 Nunn and Wantchekon (2011) examine the historic roots of mistrust within sub-Saharan Africa. the variables are taken from the societies prior to industrialization. For the parts of the world without a written history the information is from the earliest observers of these cultures. to the maximum extent possible.267 ethnic groups around the world. a world wide ethnicity-level database constructed by George Peter Murdock that contains ethnographic information for 1. which is measured at the ethnicity level. Section 4 and 5 report OLS and IV estimates of the relationship between traditional plough use and gender outcomes today.Zingales (2008a) test Robert Putnam’s hypothesis of the historic origins of regional differences of social capital and trust within Italy. 2. Boeckh. measured either at the country or individual level. For all groups in the dataset. We also check whether plough use was associated with differences in other activities within and outside of the domestic sphere. and Grosjean (2010a) and Becker. we then turn to mechanisms. to current data on gender norms or female labor force participation. Grosjean (2010b) examines the historical origins of a ‘culture of honor’ in the US South. the characteristics of the ethnic group prior to European contact. For some cultures the first recorded information is from the early 20th century.

However. in past centuries there have been significant migrations of groups. because of data limitation. Groups are classified into one of three mutually exclusive categories: (i) the plough was absent. but it was adopted after European contact. For our analysis (as we describe below) we first link the historical data to information about the current population distributions of ethnic groups. However. In the sample. 86% of the ethnicities did not use the plough. It is possible that the plough has a bigger effect on gender norms amongst groups that adopted early. In other words. (ii) the plough existed at the time the group was observed but it was not aboriginal. Therefore our estimates should be interpreted as the average effect of having adopted the plough among all ethnic groups that did so prior to industrialization. More generally. For example. In addition. and (iii) the plough was aboriginal and found in the society prior to contact. The database does record adoption if it occurred after European contact. Second. many of the ethnic groups that did not adopt the plough are indigenous groups located in the Americas.267 societies in the database. as a second step we link the information about the population weighted distribution on the use of the plough to contemporary datasets on female labor force participation and gender role attitudes. and therefore have used the technology for a longer period of time.18% of the societies used the plough. the ethnic groups are not of equal size or importance today as compared to the historical period to which the Ethnographic Atlas refers to. 12. we do not have the exact date of adoption for the other cases of adoption.5% of the societies the plough was not initially used. this actually provides an inaccurate description of the extent of plough use historically.158 of the 1. and in 1. ethnic groups that adopted the plough were larger historically. the database under-samples European ethnic groups. the use (or non-use) of the plough remains stable over time. The number of societies that did not use the plough is greater than the number that did. and are larger today. Our analysis is therefore not biased by the fact that the Ethnographic Atlas over-samples small groups or groups that are less populous today. but we are only able to estimate an average effect. Descriptive statistics for all the data used in the paper are reported in Appendix Table A1. particularly Europeans and Africans across the Atlantic.The database contains a measure of the historic use of plough agriculture. There is hardly any evidence of groups repeatedly switching from one form of agriculture to another. There are data on plough use for 1. However. First of all. we are unable to test for this. There may be heterogeneity within the group of adopters. Our analysis also takes this 6 . with small populations historically and even smaller populations today.

Economic complexity is measured by a variable (increasing in the level of economic complexity) indicating the settlement pattern of the ethnic group. In particular. Since this distinction is not relevant for our purposes. A one standard deviation increase original categorization from the Ethnographic Atlas distinguished between “differentiated but equal participation” and “equal participation”. 9 Information on female participation in agriculture is missing for 547 observations in the sample. neighborhoods of dispersed family homesteads. and (5) females only. we control for the presence of domesticated bovine or equine animals since low participation of women in agriculture could be due to the female monopoly over the care of domesticated animals. 8 The 7 . (3) equal participation. (3) semi-sedentary. 32 percent had equal participation and 36 percent had either mostly female or only female participation. Column 1 shows a negative relationship between historic plough use and historic participation of women in agriculture. OLS results are reported in Table 1. (2) males appreciably more. In all specifications.8 Thirty two percent of ethnic groups historically had either mostly men or only men working in agriculture. For 232 ethnic groups agriculture was not practiced and for 315 groups the data are missing. This variable equals one if the ethnic group has bovine or equine animals as predominant type of animal husbandry. We construct a plough indicator variable that takes on the value of one if the plough was present (whether aboriginal or not) among the ethnic groups and zero otherwise. 1973b). since we match the ethnographic data to current outcome data based on ethnic groups and not geographic locations and we are therefore able to follow ethnic groups that have moved. the variable indicates whether agriculture is a male or female dominated activity and can take the following values: (1) males only. The two variables have been shown to be correlated with economic development and societal complexity (Murdock and Provost. (5) separate hamlets.9 We estimate an OLS regression of female participation in agriculture on the presence of the plough.into account. (4) female appreciably more. Female labor force participation is a categorical variable which is increasing in the degree of participation of women in agriculture. Nineteen percent of societies in the sample used the plough. (7) compact and relatively permanent settlements and (8) complex settlements. (4) compact but not permanent settlements. we combine the two categories into one. (2) semi-nomadic. We also include measures of economic and political complexity of the ethnic groups. (6) forming a single community. We proxy for political complexity with a variable that measures the number of levels of jurisdictional hierarchy beyond the local community. This variable can take the following values: (1) nomadic or fully migratory.

This is consistent with the analysis of 10 The magnitude of the coefficient is slightly higher. we find similar results. planting. including land clearance soil preparation. We therefore complement our analysis by using Murdock and White’s (1969) Standard Cross-Cultural Sample (SCCS). 8 . cooking. including fuel gathering. (3) equal division. harvesting. crop tending. Using the SCCS data. care of small and large animals. An increase in one standard deviation in the use of the plough implies a decline in female labor force participation of 0. we then look specifically at gender role specialization in the following specific tasks: land clearance. implies a reduction in female participation in agriculture of 0. crop tending and harvesting (although for land clearance the coefficient is smaller in magnitude and statistically insignificant). The Ethnographic Atlas unfortunately does not provide any detail on the type of tasks women do when they work in agriculture. a dataset containing ethnographic information on 186 societies.10 In columns 3–14. increasing in the participation of women: (1) male exclusively. They then chose. we first replicate the regressions using the Ethnographic Atlas. (2) males predominantly. water fetching and burden carrying. We also find evidence that women in plough societies tended to participate less in other activities performed outside the house. and burden carrying (although the coefficient for water fetching is smaller and not statistically different from zero).in the use of the plough. milking. water fetching. Overall. This is consistent with Boserup’s assertion that traditional plough use was associated with less female participation in agriculture outside of the home.41. fuel gathering. We find that if the plough was used. including caring for large or small animals. for each. The authors group the 1267 societies from the Ethnographic Atlas into 186 clusters of closely related cultures. planting. and (5) females exclusively. milking or cooking. women tended to participate significantly less in the primary agricultural activities. the ethnographic evidence confirms that women participated less in farm activities in societies that historically practiced plough agriculture. soil preparation. As shown in column 2. We don’t find statistically significant evidence that women in plough societies increased their participation in other activities. (4) females predominantly. For these activities the estimated coefficients are positive but always statistically insignificant. which is roughly equal to 14% of the sample average of this variable in the SCCS. a particularly well-documented and representative culture to be an observation in the SCCS.30 (10% of the sample average of the left hand side variable). Each specialization variable is coded on a 1 to 5 integer scale. intentionally chosen to be representative and historically and culturally independent from one another.

367) 129 0.fies sex differences in agriculture  and   is increasing in female par. Par. Coefficients are reported with robust standard errors in brackets.895** (0. Columns 3-­‐14 are variables taking on interger values between 1 and 5 and are increasing in female  par.046 Burden   carrying (14) -­‐1. The former reports the current geographic distribution of 7.353) 132 0.ons R-­‐squared Panel  B.307) 139 0.092 Plan.108) (0. ** and * indicate significance at the 1.019 Fuel  gathering Water  fetching (12) (13) -­‐0. We also use the Landscan 2000 database.on  in  agriculture (1) (2) -­‐0.738 (0.vity.cipa.on (4) -­‐1.034 0.cipa.342) 139 0.055*** (0.ng (5) -­‐1.149) 182 0. we need an estimate of the location and distribution of ethnicities across the globe today. ***. as well as the observations of anthropologists like Baumann (1928) and Whyte (1978).085 (0. We link the historic ethnographic data.780*** -­‐1.cipa. Column 1 reports evidence from the Ethnographic Atlas. 5 and 10% levels.171 Land  clearance (3) -­‐0.098 0. which reports estimates of the world’s population for 30 arc-second by 30 arc-second (roughly 1km by 1km) grid-cells globally. with each polygon indicating the location of a specific language.410) (0. with our outcomes of interest. measured at the location-level.704** (0. We construct this information using two datasets: the 15th edition of the Ethnologue: Languages of the World (Gordon.on is ethnicity.220 (0.940** -­‐0.049 Milking (10) 0. The database provides a shape file that divides the world’s land into polygons.on in agriculture is a variable taking on integer values between 1 and 5 that quan.cipa.on  of  the  ac.250) 698 132 0.276) 95 96 0.on in agriculture.030   Cooking (11) 0. Panel  A.on  in  the  following  (agriculture-­‐related)  tasks: Par. Columns 2-­‐14 report evidence from the Standard Cross Cultural Sample.148 Harves. Linking the past to the present: Data and methodology We now turn to an examination of the long-term impact of historical plough use.Table 1: Historic plough use and historic female participation in agriculture.150*** (0. 3.cipa.095*** (0. Boserup (1970).on  in  the  following  (addi.374) 144 0.11 We combine the 11 The Landscan 2000 database was produced by Oakridge Laboratories in cooperation with the US Government and NASA.151 Historic  plough  use Observa.  Dependent  variables:  Female  par. 9 .040   Soil   prepara. each of which we manually matched to the appropriate ethnic group from the Ethnographic Atlas.cipa.240) 166 159 0.ng (7) -­‐0. measured at the ethnicity level. either countries or districts within countries today.041 0.349 0. To do this.097 Crop  tending (6) -­‐0. 2005) and the Landscan 2000 database.612 different languages.156 Historic  plough  use Observa.280 (0.onal)  tasks: Caring  for   Caring  for  large   small  animals animals (8) (9) 0.  Dependent  variables:  Female  par.ons R-­‐squared Notes: The un unit of observa.204) 137 0.711) 48 0.560) (0.219 (0.160*** (0.

except that an average is taken over all grid-cells in country c. groups speaking different languages. but rather as rough measures indicating the approximate locations of different language groups.d. A darker shade indicates greater population. Define plough Ie to be a variable equal to one if ethnic group e used plough agriculture and zero otherwise. The same procedure is used to construct a country-level measure Ploughc as well. This information is then used to link the historic ethnicity-level data to our current outcomes of interest. the procedure creates a population-weighted average plough measure for all grid-cells within a district.i.c (1) where Nd.Ethnologue shape file with the Landscan raster file to obtain an estimate of the global distribution of language groups across the globe today.c .c is the total number of people living in district d in country c.d. This provides an estimate of the fraction of the population currently living in a district (or country) with ancestors that traditionally engaged in plough agriculture.c denote the number of individuals of ethnicity e living in grid-cell plough i located in district d in country c.c = ∑∑ e i Ne. This information is shown in figure 1b. Figure 1a shows a map of the land inhabited by different ethnic groups.267 ethnic groups for which we have plough-use data. we know for each language group whether their ancestor’s engaged in plough agriculture.i. We then use information on the location of modern district and country boundaries to construct district-level and country-level averages of the historic plough measure. Figure 3a shows the global distribution of languages based on the Ethnologue data.e.612 language groups globally. let Ne. We first match to each of the 7. Ploughd. i. From the Ethnographic Atlas we know whether each ethnic group used the plough. The procedure is shown visually for the district-level averages in figures 2a and 2b. is given by: Ploughd. One should not think of the borders as precisely defined boundaries. measured at the location-level. Each polygon represents the approximate borders of a group (from Ethnologue). The district-level measure of the fraction of the population with ancestors that traditionally used the plough. one of the 1. We then construct a population-weighted average of Ie for all ethnic groups living in a district d. To be more precise. Intuitively. The figure also shows inhabited land in dark grey. The map also shows the Landscan estimate of the population of each cell within the country. as well as historic plough use for each group. After the matching procedure.c plough · Ie Nd. One 10 . We illustrate our procedure with the example of Ethiopia.

language groups. and historic plough-use within Ethiopia.Ethnologue languages Legend 4 (a) Population density and language groups Ethnologue languages Plough not used Plough used Legend 4 (b) Population density. language groups and their traditional plough use Figure 1: Populations. 11 .

76 0.01 0. language groups their traditional plough use.94-1.39 0.39-0.01-0.94 0. and districts today Historic plough use 0.District boundaries District boundaries Ethnologue languages Plough not used Plough used Legend 4 (a) Population density.76-0.00 Legend 4 (b) District averages of plough use among inhabitants’ ancestors Figure 2: Traditional plough-use across districts within Ethiopia 12 .00-0.

The shortcoming of the GREG database is that ethnic groups are much less finely identified relative to the Ethnologue database. Some general patterns appear no matter which methodology we choose. Groups within sub-Saharan Africa generally did not use the plough.364 ethnic groups. This is due to uncertainty or a lack of information about the boundaries of language groups in that location. In our analysis we use the plough variable without missing values imputed as our baseline measure.problem with the Ethnologue data is that the information is missing for some parts of the world.) This is the strategy that has been undertaken by other studies using the Ethnologue language data (e. 2010). Michalopoulos (2008)). Like the Ethnologue. The GREG database identifies 1. The spatial distribution of historic plough use using this imputation procedures is reported in figure 3b.612 ethnic groups. The first is to ignore the missing languages and calculate country and district measures using the data that exist (i. as well as a number of Asian countries. while the Ethnologue identifies 7. Ethiopia and the countries of Northern and Southern Africa. We undertake three strategies in order to address this issue. We also show that our results are robust to the use of either variable that imputes the missing language data. the correlation between: (i) our baseline variable and the measure with missing languages imputed using the country’s national language is 0. At the country-level. This robustness is explained by the high correlation among the three plough measures.89. (ii) our baseline measure and the measure imputed using ethnic groups from the GREG database is 0.12 The spatial distribution of historic plough use using this procedures is shown in figure 3c. As it is apparent from the map. shown in Figure 3a. 12 An alternative strategy is to rely only on the coarser GREG classification and map.. the GREG database provides a shape file that divides the world’s land into polygons. Our results are robust to this procedure as well. Our second strategy is to assume that all inhabitants in the unclassified territories speak the national language of the country. this primarily occurs in South America. with each polygon indicating the location of a specific ethnicity. Rod and Cederman..g. Our third strategy is to impute the language of the inhabitants using information on the spatial distribution of ethnic groups from the Geo-Referencing of Ethnic Groups (GREG) database (Weidmann. together with some African countries like Eritrea.91. 13 . The majority of the European countries used the plough historically. we report population weighted country-level averages of historic plough use for each of the three strategies used to address the missing language data. In figures 4a–4c.e.

Legend Historic plough use No plough use Missing plough data Plough use. but not indigenous Missing language data Unpopulated Populated but no language data Indigenous plough use (c) Missing language information imputed using GREG ethnic groups Figure 3: Historic plough use among the ethnic/language groups in the Ethnologue 14 . but not indigenous Missing language data Unpopulated Populated but no language data Indigenous plough use (b) Missing language information imputed using the country’s official language Legend Historic plough use Missing plough data No plough use Plough use. not indigenous Missing language data Unpopulated land Populated but no Ethnologue data Indigenous plough use (a) Missing language information not imputed Legend Historic plough use No plough use Missing plough data Plough use. .821691 0.908500 .043163 0.043164 .1.874715 .928646 .985102 .0.985092 0.0.908499 0.985101 0.133554 0.024938 0.251908 .573114 .928645 0.870873 .233165 0.000000 .Legend Historic plough use 0.000000 (b) Missing language information imputed using the country’s official language Legend Historic plough use 0.0.233166 .821692 .0.0.000000 (a) Missing language information not imputed Legend Historic plough use 0.569499 .0.0.323672 0.403964 0.0.323673 .403965 .000000 .981442 0.676111 0.133555 .0.0.573113 0.323672 0.133555 .676112 .0.874716 .0.870872 0.000000 (c) Missing language information imputed using GREG ethnic groups Figure 4: Average historic plough use among the ancestors of each country 15 .000000 .0.889260 .251907 0.803035 0.0.569498 0.0.133554 0.783906 0.943731 .889259 0.061610 .0.061609 0.0.783907 .0.629321 .803036 .981443 .985093 .943730 0.024939 .

the presence of a tropical climate (either tropical or subtropical). all measured at the country level. A more detailed description of each control variable is provided in the paper’s appendix. OLS estimates Having constructed country and district-level measures of traditional plough use. A. and the economic development of the ethnic groups currently living within the country (defined above). In columns 3–6. Ploughc is our measure of the historic C H use of the plough among the ancestors of the citizens in country c. We also include an indicator variable that equals one if the country was formerly communist. we are now able to examine the relationship between historic plough use and measures of the role of women in society today. The measures capture the historic characteristics of the ancestors of those in our sample. Country-level estimates We test our hypothesis by estimating the following equation: C H yc = α + β Ploughc + Xc Γ + Xc Π + εc (2) where y is the outcome of interest. This is important since economic development is known to be non-linearly associated with female labor force participation (Goldin. the presence of domesticated bovine or equine animals. the levels of jurisdictional hierarchy beyond the local community. the dependent variable is a country’s female labor force participation rate in 2000.and (iii) the two variables with imputed values is 0. as well as the variable squared. Table 2 reports the country-level OLS estimates. 1995). Xc includes the natural log of a country’s real per capita GDP measured in 2000. we examine women’s 13 Descriptive 14 Alesina statistics for the three measures are shown in Appendix Table A1. c denotes countries.99. since these regimes implemented policies to H eliminate gender differences in the economy. We construct these variables using the same manner used to construct the historic plough use variable. 16 . and Xc and Xc are vectors of C current controls and historic ethnographic controls. In columns 1 and 2. We begin by examining variation at the country level. and Fuchs-Schundeln (2007) show how the impact of communist regimes on individual beliefs can be long lasting.13 4.14 The historic ethnographic controls Xc include agricultural suitability.

we also control for each country’s level of democracy in 2000 when this outcome is examined. Liebman. the coefficients β k are jointly estimated in a seemingly unrelated regression framework. σk where K is the total number of outcome variables. the implied magnitudes are similar.474 for the full sample) is associated with a reduction of female labor force participation of (15.17 AES estimates reduce the possibility of Type I (that results on any of our outcomes is due to chance) and Type II error (the risk of low statistical power). Columns 7 and 8 report the estimated average effect size (AES) for the three dependent variables examined in columns 1–6. 17 See Clingingsmith. Katz and Sanbonmatsu (2004). The extent of democracy is measured using the ‘polity2’ measure from the Polity IV database.506 × 0. According to the AES estimate. As well.participation in more narrowly specified activities outside of the domestic sphere: entrepreneurship (measured by the share of firms with owners or managers that are female) and national politics (measured by the proportion of seats held by women in national parliament)15 . Let β k indicate the estimated plough coefficient for outcome variable k and σ k the standard deviation of outcome k. women are less likely to participate in the labor market.16 The point estimates (using the odd numbered columns) suggest that an increase in one standard deviation in plough-use (0.66 (22% of the sample average and 30% of the standard deviation). Khwaja and Kremer (2009) for an alternative application and further details. We computed the AES following Kling. An alternative way to assess the magnitude of the estimates is to calculate the proportion of about the sources of the left hand side variables are reported in the Appendix. and a reduction of the participation of women in politics by 2. which is a variable that takes on integer values ranging from −10 (high autocratic) to +10 (highly democratic). The AES estimates confirm the findings when examining the outcomes individually: historic plough use is associated with less female participation in activities outside of the home. are less likely to own or manage firms.23 of the share of firms with some female ownership (16% of the sample average and 38% of the standard deviation). The even numbered columns include controls for continent fixed effects.40 standard deviations. and are less likely to participate in politics.2% of the sample average for FLFP and 47% of the standard deviation).35 (equivalent to 14. of 5. To properly calculate the sample variance of the AES. the average effect size is equal to 1 K ∑K 1 k= βk . 16 Because 15 Details 17 .474 =) 7. a one standard deviation increase in plough use is associated with an average decrease (for the three outcomes) of 0. female participation in national politics may be affected by the type of government. The estimates show that in countries with a tradition of plough-use. while the odd numbered columns do not.

traditional plough use accounts for 8. aThis is the average number of observations in the regressions for the three outcomes.412 -15. The unit of observation is a country. traditional plough use accounts for 5% of the total variation and 6% of the residual variation. For the participation of women in politics. 5 and 10% levels.326)/(1 − 0.128 or 12.18 For the share of firms with female ownership.128) yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no 125 0.315 Average effect size (AES) (7) (8) -0.506*** (3.205 -5.540** (5.849*** (0. When female labor force participation is the dependent variable (column 1 of Table 2).287) yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no no 105 0.412). ***. The estimated coefficients for our control variables are generally as expected. the total variation they explain.6% of the total variation in FLFP and 12.137) yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no yes 135a Notes : OLS estimates are reported with robust standard errors in brackets. ** and * indicate significance at the 1.326 to 0.547) yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no no 159 0. Therefore. the inclusion of the historic plough use variable increases the R-squared by 0.086 (from 0. This is consistent with previous studies that also find this same non-monotonic relationship (Goldin.429 Dependent variable: Share of firms with some female ownership Females in politics (3) (5) (4) (6) -11. For example we find evidence of a U-shaped relationship between per capita income and female labor force participation.606*** (2.8%. Female labor force participation (1) (2) Historic plough use Historic controls: Agricultural suitability Domesticated animals Tropics Political hierarchies Economic complexity Contemporary controls: ln income.052** (4.279 -4.412 − 0.245* (2. 18 .8% of the residual variation in FLFP that is unaccounted for by our control variables. By this metric as well. 1995).154 -11.417*** (3. historic plough use explains 3% of the total variation and 4% of the residual variation.Table 2: Country level OLS estimates. 18 This is calculated as: (0.796*** (0.326) = 0. We also find that countries that experience a period of communism have higher rates of female labor force participation. as well as the other outcomes.561) yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no yes 159 0. ln income2 Communism indicator Polity2 Continent fixed effects Observations R-squared -16.152) yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no yes 105 0. historic plough use explains a sizable proportion of differences in gender roles across countries.140) yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no no 135 a -0.218) yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes 125 0.

Brazil. however. this persistence is perhaps surprising. Our results. Chile. reported in the appendix in Table A3. Female labor market participation today and female participation in agriculture in historical societies are very strongly correlated. there is strong persistence over time. Argentina. Instead. Colombia. We find the alternative measures yield nearly identical point estimates that are highly significant. and with less female labor force participation today. suggesting a lack of continuity of female labor market participation overtime as industrialization occurs. Bolivia. showing the relationship between historic female participation in agriculture and FLFP today. Goldin and Sokoloff (1984) document that within the Northeastern United States. The regression also controls for our full set of covariates from equation (2) above. areas with low female participation in agriculture and plough use – because of the persistence of norms and countries include Australia. the low relative productivity of women and children in agriculture (and hence their low participation) spurred industrialization and their active participation in the manufacturing sector. These two correlations imply long-term persistence in female participation in activities outside of the home.Robustness to alternative plough measures Estimates using either of the two methods for imputing missing language data are qualitatively identical to the estimates using our baseline variable. 19 The 19 . New Zealand. even after controlling for our set of covariates. Estimates of equation (2) using the two alternative plough variables are reported in Appendix Table A2. we omit 17 countries that have a significant proportion of missing data. is shown in figure 5.19 The estimates. Costa Rica. Mexico. As a final strategy to ensure that our findings are not being driven by measurement error. female labor force participation in agriculture was inversely related to participation in manufacturing. In fact. As is apparent from the figure. Nicaragua. Honduras. In their setting. we regress female labor force participation today on the measure of women’s participation in agriculture constructed from the Ethnographic Atlas. Panama. As a check for the persistence of cross-country differences in the participation of women in the labor market. we have shown that historic plough use is associated with less female participation in agriculture historically. Peru and Venezuela. Ecuador. The persistence of female labor force participation To this point. Paraguay. show that the estimated impact of the plough remains robust to the smaller sample. Guatemala. show that this example does not appear to be general. In light of existing studies. The partial correlation plot.

t = 3. we control for a variable that equals the proportion of a country’s ancestors that 20 . Another consequence of this is that women were no longer active and equal participants in the community life.4 Figure 5: Historic female participation in agriculture and current FLFP. Their control of private property allowed men to subjugate women and to introduce exclusive paternity over their children. He argues that gender inequality arose as a result of the intensification of agriculture. even after the economy moves out of agriculture and into industry. Controlling for alternative hypotheses We now test the robustness of our estimates to alternative determinants of gender roles that have been suggested by various scholars. Specifically.40 VUT THA TZA BWA RWA LSO −40 MDG ISL KEN GIN BHS AGO BDI LAO JAM CHNKAZ GAB UGA PNG BFA BOL COM MOZ AZE ZWE PER MNG PRT KHM BRN BRA GMB VNM MRT SEN NZL URY VCT VEN FIN DNK CAN DOM GHA CHE NOR TTO SWE LTU RUS ARG SGP CAF ZAF LCA PHL HTI MYS CZE ZMB MWI ISR SVK COG USA PAN ESTBLRGBR IDN KOR NLD CYP PRY BIH TKM CPV TCD CMR FRA POL LVABGD UZB ALB SVN ARM ETH BLZ ESP AUT DZA KGZ GRC ECUBEN GEO SLV NPL GUY LBR TGO IRL GTM MEX JPN FJI UKR CIV COL BGRHRV CRI BEL MDA DEU SLE HUN ITA PRI HND LBY SUR ARE BTN IRN LKA MKD CHL GNQ GNB TUR OMN MAR SAU ERI LUX EGY NGA LBN IND JOR SDN SYR TJK NER SLB MLI PAK e( FLFP_2000 | X ) 0 20 SWZ NCL NAM −20 NIC −2 −1 0 1 e( Historical_FLFP_agriculture | X ) 2 coef = 4. (robust) se = 1. which was monopolized by men.6895409. which resulted in the emergence of private property. today continue to have low levels of female participation in activities outside of the home. One of the most prominent alternative explanations for the evolution of gender role differences across societies is from Engels (1902). beliefs.3788193. replacing matriliny with patrilineal descent. making wives even more dependent on husband’s and their property. We account for this potential mechanism by including a number of observable characteristics of pre-industrial societies which capture the different determinants from Engels’s theory.

which groups societies into the following categories: avunculal. In nuclear families with only a husband and a wife. 1957). extensive or shifting agriculture. exclusively or predominantly to the one adjudged best qualified. optionally patrilocal. which classifies societies based on their agricultural intensity into one of the following categories: no agriculture. 23 The estimates for the other outcomes of interest are also robust to the inclusion of the additional controls. (iii) independent polyandrous families. a gender division of labor can more easily develop.5. casual agriculture. We construct a variable for the proportion of nuclear families (including indipendent monogamous and polygynous nuclear families) and a variable for the proportions of extended families (including minimal. 25 The information is taken from variable v8. it is more likely that either adult will need to substitute for the other.25 Estimates with these additional controls are reported in column 4.22 Columns 1–3 of Table 3 report estimates of equation (2) with the additional controls included. small and large extended families). It has been argued that cultures with large-extended families typically have more hierarchical and less egalitarian structures. which we take as an indicator for the absence of property rights in land. 21 The original Ethnographic Atlas question (v75) measures the inheritance distribution for land and identifies the following categories: equal or relatively equal. 22 The measures are constructed from variable v12 of the Ethnographic Atlas. primogeniture and absence of inheritance of real property.21 The last control variables are two measures that capture the proportion of a country’s ancestors with patrilocal post-marital residence rules and with matrilocal rules. These capture the extent to which society’s were matrilineal versus patrilineal. neolocal. The estimate for historic plough use remains robust. optionally uxorilocal or avunculocal. Therefore. We report the estimates with female labor force participation as the dependent variable. Our control captures societies belonging to the last two categories.practiced intensive agriculture. Bacon and Child. no common residence. Barry. 1970. Our measure identifies ethnic groups belonging to the last categories. (viii) large extended families. 24 A similar but different theory stresses competence rather than authority. this results in a subordinate status of women (Engels. uxorilocal or virilocal. In large families with many adults.20 We also control for the proportion of a country’s population with ancestors without inheritance rules for land. and its magnitude changes little from the baseline value of 16. (ii) independent (polygynous) nuclear family. (vii) small extended families. (vi) minimal extended families. 1902. horticulture.24 We control for the potential impact of family structures by controlling for the proportion of a country’s ancestors that lived in nuclear or extended families. 21 . ambilocal. which classifies ethnic groups’ family structures into the following categories: (i) independent (monogamous) nuclear family. It is possible that the status of women is also affected by the extent to which a society 20 The measure is constructed from variable v28 in the Ethnographic Atlas. intensive agriculture and intensive irrigated agriculture. Boserup. the wife will be involved in activities ordinarily done by men. ultimogeniture. patrilocal. (iv) polygynous (with co-wives). It has been hypothesized that the status of women may be affected by the extent to which families are nuclear as opposed to including extended relatives. Since hierarchies tend to be dominated by men. matrilocal. (v) polygynous (without co-wives).23 The estimated impact of the traditional plough use remains robust to the inclusion of the additional controls: the coefficient remains negative and statistically significant.

who calculate the variable using Weil and Putterman’s (2010) World Migration Matrix. he argues for the importance of a country endowment of oil reserves. A potentially important determinant of differences in gender roles is religion. 27 The 26 The 22 . other Christian. Muslim. We account for this possibility by controlling for the fraction of each country’s population in 2000 whose ancestors came from Europe. Estimates with these additional controls are reported in columns 7–9. The impact of the plough remains robust to the set of controls meant to capture the hypothesized mechanism from Ross (2008). oil causes a country’s domestic currency to strengthen. Both variables are measured as the proportion of all subsistence activities that are comprised of each activity. According to his hypothesis. gender attitudes and female labor force participation independent of historic plough use.28 We also control for the economic structure of each country. data are taken from McCleary and Barro’s (2006) Religion Adherence dataset. the inclusion of these controls has little impact on the estimated effect of past plough use. the estimated impact of the plough remains robust. As reported in column 10. and Hindus. which may also require significant strength. a sector particularly well-suited for female employment. 28 The oil production data are from BP Oil and the trade-to-GDP ratio is taken from the World Bank’s World Development Indicators.participates in certain non-agricultural activities. We construct a measure of the average historical dependence (measured as a percentage) of a country’s ancestors on hunting and animal husbandry. the most likely candidates are hunting and the herding of large animals. which are not particularly suitable to female involvement. making exports less competitive and causing a decline in light manufacturing. both measured in 2000. We check the robustness of our estimates by controlling for the proportion of a country’s population that is: Catholic. To our minds.27 As shown in column 6. European ancestry may have impacts on economic development. In recent work. manufacturing and services. We account for this possibility by controlling for per capita oil production and the trade-to-GDP ratio. The last factor that we consider stems from the fact that part of the variation in ancestral plough use arises because of European migration to different parts of the world. Instead. Protestant.26 As shown in column 5. Ross (2008) challenges the idea that religion has an important impact on gender attitudes and female labor force participation. by including measures of the share of GDP accounted for by agriculture. The measure is taken from Nunn and Puga (2011). the estimates remain robust to controlling for variables are constructed from variables v2 and v4 of the Ethnographic Atlas.

European ancestry.  5  and  10%  levels..967) yes yes 156 0. the results are also robust to this strategy.  matrilocal  society Nuclear  family.417*** (3.041*** (3. Individual-level estimates We now turn to our specification that examines variation across individuals.46 (9) -­‐18.12 to −0. (1) Historic  plough  use Prac@ces  intensive  agriculture Absence  of  private  property Patrilocal  society.42 157 0.  extended  family Propor@on  of  subsistence  from:  hun@ng.734*** (4.474*** (4.41 (6) -­‐12. Although we do not report the estimates here. 23 . As well.18.  manuf.43 159 0. the estimated impact of the plough remains highly robust across the ten specifications in Table 3. ** and * indicate significance  at  the  1.769) yes yes yes yes 159 0. The coefficient is always negative and statistically significant.536) yes yes yes 157 0. The unit of observa@on is a country. This analysis relies on data from the World Value Survey (WVS).375*** (3. the results also remain robust if the controls are included with continent fixed effects.568) -­‐14. the US) from the sample. more blunt strategy. is to omit all European and the neo-Europe countries (Australia. As reported in Appendix Table A4. including attitudes and preferences. Canada.570*** (3.57 157 0.Table 3: Robustness of OLS estimates to alternative controls.073*** (3.538) yes 159 0.767*** (3. B.42 yes 159 0.29 Overall.844) Notes: OLS es@mates are reported with robust standard errors in brackets.42 yes 151 0.814*** (3.568) (5) -­‐15. linking them to a tradition of plough agriculture using the district they live in.42 (8) -­‐15.112) yes yes 159 0. ranging from −0.  and  services  share  of  GDP Frac@on  of  European  descent Observa@ons R-­‐squared -­‐14.692) -­‐16.435*** (3. New Zealand.  herding Baseline  historic  and  contemporary  controls Observa@ons R-­‐squared Historic  plough  use Prop  of  pop  belonging  to  five  major  religions Oil  produc@on  per  capita Trade/GDP Agric. and the point estimate remains reasonably stable.43 (10) -­‐15. a compilation of national individual-level surveys on a wide variety of topics. as well as information on standard demographic 29 An alternative. ***.856) yes (2) Dependent  variable:  FLFP (3) (4) -­‐17.41 (7) -­‐16. we also find that the other two outcomes variables – the share of firms with female ownership and the participation of women in politics – also remain robust to the inclusion of all these controls.

income. religion.31 We also examine two measures of individuals’ (male and female) attitudes about the appropriate role of women in society. 3 for ‘agree’ and 4 for ‘agree strongly’. Because regional classifications often vary by wave. Women are not in the labor force if they report being retired. labor market status. for females. the variable is increasing in the extent to which a respondent’s view is characterized by gender inequality. 32 We omit observations that respond ‘neither’ because it is ambiguous whether this represents an intermediate view or whether they have chosen not to answer the question or whether they do not know their answer. We find the two subjective value measures particularly appealing because they could reflect the values potentially underlying cross country differences in female outcomes. like the first is increasing in the respondent’s view of gender inequality. Therefore. there is a close link between the objective measures from the country-level analysis and 30 The five waves of the WVS were carried out in the following years: 1981-1984. This variable. Respondents are then asked to choose between ‘strongly disagree’. such as gender. we use the four most recent waves of the World Values Survey. We omit observations in which the respondent answered ‘don’t know’ and create a variable that takes on the value of 1 for ‘strongly agree’. men make better political leaders than women do”.characteristics. disagree. we choose the wave with the most finely defined regions. which may determine observed differences in female participation in politics and female firm ownership and management. The first question reflects values of female access to jobs. a housewife or a student. an indicator variable that equals one if she is in the labor force. 1995-1997.30 Using the WVS we construct.32 Therefore. ‘agree strongly’. 31 The results are qualitatively identical if we exclude retired women and students from the sample. In our analysis. age. which may underlie part of the observed differences in female labor force participation rates across countries. The respondents are then asked to choose between agree. which includes full-time. since the first wave does not contain information on the district in which the respondent lives. etc. and code ‘disagree’ as 0 and ‘agree’ as 1. education. men should have more right to a job than women”. part-time or self-employment. or ‘don’t know’. neither or don’t know. 2 for ‘disagree’. and 2. reaching 81 countries in the fourth wave and 57 in the fifth). If we interpret this response as reflecting an intermediate position and code a variable that takes on the values 0. 1990-1993. then we obtain qualitatively identical results to what we report here. We also consider a second variable derived from a survey question where the respondents are given the following statement “On the whole. ‘disagree’. The first measure is based on each respondent’s view of the following statement: “When jobs are scarce. We omit observations for which the respondents answered ‘neither’ or ‘don’t know’. 24 . 1999-2004 and 2005–2007. The second question reflects values about the ability of women to take on roles of leadership and responsibility. 1. The coverage varies depending on the wave (starting with 22 countries in 1980. ‘agree’.

with standard errors clustered at the country level.c = αr (c) + β Ploughd + Xc Γ + Xd Π + Xi Φ + εi. Individual controls are age.029) yes yes yes yes 71. we find a negative relationship between historic plough use and female labor force participation today. attitudes about female employment. Xi denotes current individual-level controls: age. domesIcated animals.178 yes yes yes yes 65.472 Historic  plough  use   Individual  controls Current  country  controls Historic  district  controls ConInent  FE ObservaIons R-­‐squared Notes: The table reports OLS esImates.288 0. The AES reported in column 4 is for the  two  subjecIve  belief  measures  from  columns  2  and  3.d.  ***. Historic district controls include agricultural suitability.  **  and  *  indicate  significance  at  the  1. and Xd includes the same historic ethnographic variables as in equation (2). ln income squared and a communism indicator variable. and r (c) denote the continent of country c. but measured at the district level. age squared. poliIcal hierarchies.075) (0.063) yes yes yes yes 59. age squared. d denotes a district within a country c. Xc are the same current country-level controls as in H equation (2). Current country controls include ln income. educational attainment. Consistent with the country-level estimates.245*** (0. Dependent  variables: FLFP (1) -­‐0. Tables 4 reports OLS estimates of equation (3).c (3) where i denotes an individual.Table 4: Individual-level OLS estimates. Ploughd is our measure of the historic use of the plough among the C ancestors of individuals living in district d. and income levels.451*** (0. and a positive relationship between historic plough use and current attitudes reflecting gender inequality. and economic complexity.832 0. Examining these three outcomes – female participation in the labor force. educaIon.186 When  jobs  are   scarse (2) 0.397*** 0. In terms of the magnitude of the effects. they are similar to the cross-country 25 . To be as conservative as possible. The equation also includes continent fixed effects. marital status. tropical areas.  5  and  10%  levels. denoted αr (c) . and income.209 Men  be`er   Average  effect  size   poliIcal  leaders (AES) (3) (4) 0.034) yes yes yes yes 38.d. as well as fixed effects for marital status. gender (for gender aXtudes only). the subjective measures in the individual-level analysis.656 0. and attitudes about female leadership skills – we estimate the following individual-level equation: C H yi. we cluster the standard errors at the country level.214*** (0.

locations that were economically more developed were more likely to adopt the plough.e. Further the benefit of the plough is reduced when the crops are grown in swampy. the benefit of the plough is greater for crops that have short cultivation periods (even multiple cropping per year) and require large amounts of land for a fixed yield of calories. As instruments we rely on a determinant of historic plough use that has been emphasized in the anthropological literature: specific characteristics of the geo-climatic environment which determined the type of crops that could grow in a particular location (Pryor. 1985. which tend to yield more calories per acre. and grow on flat. and can be cultivated on more marginal land. millet. Because today these areas are richer and more prone to attitudes about gender role equality. have longer growing seasons. 26 . rocky. Taking these factors into consideration. For example. Because the use of the plough involves a trade-off between larger up-front fixed costs. 5.. sloped. all of which make the plough much less efficient or impossible to use.21 (which are 21% and 8% of the sample averages. which tend to be cultivated on larger expanses of land (per calorie of output). or shallow soils. teff.10 and 0. roots and tubers. IV estimates The core concerns with the OLS correlations reported to this point are selection and omitted variables bias. locations that historically had attitudes prone to less equal gender roles may have been more likely to invent or adopt the plough (in this case our OLS estimates would be biased away from zero). Plough-positive crops.estimates. include sorghum. Here we pursue an alternative strategy using instrumental variables. p. include wheat. soil that is not too rocky or swampy. An one-standard-deviation increase in the plough variable implies a reduction in female labor force participation of 0. and tree crops (Pryor. On the other hand plough negative crops. this will tend to bias our OLS towards zero. have shorter growing seasons. 1985). Our first strategy to address these concerns was to control for observable characteristics. Pryor (1985) has classified crops into those whose cultivation benefits greatly from the adoption of the plough – i. maize. barley and rye. respectively). plough positive crops – and those whose cultivation benefits less – plough-negative crops.09 (which is roughly equal to 16% of the sample average) and an increase in the gender attitudes variables of 0. This was done in the previous section. deep. On the other hand. but an ability to cultivate large amounts of land over a short period of time.

The first is a measure of the average suitability of the geo-climatic conditions of the location of each observation’s ancestors for cultivating wheat. It is important to note that the climate models are very sophisticated and therefore the crop suitability measures are not simple functions of the geographic characteristics the models use. These data are then combined with the specific growing requirements of crops to produce a measure of whether the crop could be grown in that location. Instead. In other words.732). ground-frost frequency. which are plough-negative cereal crops. Pryor shows empirically that the existence of plough positive crops is positively correlated with the adoption of the plough. and soil characteristics. and if so.33 Because the cultivation of plough-positive and plough-negative crops is an endogenous outcome.34 We construct the instruments by first identifying the land traditionally inhabited by each ethnic 33 In his study. van Nelthuizen. the measures are objectively calculated. We obtain information on the suitability of a location for cultivating plough-positive and plough-negative cereal crops from the FAO’s Global Agro-Ecological Zones (GAEZ) 2002 database (Fischer. frequency of wet days. and not affected by where crops are actually cultivated. Given our instruments. 2002). The second is the same measure of ancestral suitability. vapor pressure. In addition. cloud cover. identification relies on the assumption that holding overall crop productivity constant (which we condition on). barley and rye. but which impact the suitability of a location for growing both types of crops. The database reports suitability for the cultivation of numerous crops for 5 arc minutes by 5 arc-minute grid-cell globally. The measures are constructed from a host of data on the geo-climatic conditions of a location: precipitation. but for cultivating millet and sorghum. 34 For a detailed discussion of the data and a different application see Nunn and Qian (2011). the type of cereal crop that a location can grow only impacts long-term gender attitudes through the adoption of the plough. we measure geo-climatic conditions that are unaffected by human actions. the plough-positive and plough-negative cereal crop distinction is only important for long-term gender roles because it impacted the historic adoption of the plough. sunshine. 27 . we do not use this as our instrument. wind speed. soil slope. mean temperature. Our strategy uses two instruments. We choose to identify off of conditions related to cereal crops that are plough-positive and plough-negative because we feel that these are the most comparable. daily temperature range. how productively. Shah and Nachtergaele. which are plough-positive cereal crops. The crops being compared are all cereals that have been grown in the Old World for millennia.

historically inhabited by an ethnic group. Further. then the exclusion restriction will not be satisfied. barley and rye) and plough negative cereals (sorghum and millet). we then construct district and country-level averages of our plough-positive and plough-negative instruments. This is part of the motivation behind the set of covariates that we control for in both the OLS and IV estimates. xs . sorghum and millet. and xm be the amount of land that can cultivate e e e e e wheat. Intuitively. barley. If these differences in climate caused other important differences between societies which affect gender attitudes today.. that was tropical or subtropical. This provides an indication that the instruments may have variation independent from each other and therefore some predictive power. our regressions also include 28 . To provide the reader with a better sense of the instruments. A number of facts are apparent from the maps. normalized by the overall suitability for cultivation in general. barley and rye – while Figure 7 shows suitability for the plough-negative cereals – millet and sorghum. xr . xb . the instruments measure the proportion of a country or district’s population whose ancestor had a climate that could grow plough-positive cereals (wheat. that the controls include the proportion of land. Figure 6 shows the locations in the world that are classified as being suitable for the cultivation of the plough positive cereals – wheat. Intuitively. which may have been correlated with the presence of a tropical climate. We then measure the amount of land within this area that can grow each of the cereal crops that comprise the instruments. Using the procedure explained in equation (1). and assume that this is a reasonable representation of the land traditionally inhabited by the group. We then identify all land within 200 kilometers of the centroid. which reports the historical latitude and longitude of the centroid of each ethnic group. relative to plough-positive crops. While ethnicity-level e e e measure of suitability for plough-negative crops is: Areaneg = 1 (xs + xm )/xall .e. respectively. The first is that there are many parts of the world that can grow plough-positive crops. the e e e e 2 instruments measure the average suitability for type of crop. Let xw . Finally. plough-negative crops appear to be relatively better suited for tropical and subtropical climates and plough-positive crops better suited for temperate climates. We also control for a number of historic measures of political/economic development. but not plough-negative crops and vice versa. let xall be the amount of land that could grow any crop (i. The ethnicity-level measures of suitability for plough-positive crops is given by: Areapos = e 1 w 3 ( xe + xb + xr )/xall . Recall.group in the Ethnographic Atlas. Second. the amount of arable land). rye.

wheat.Wheat Not suitable Suitable (a) Wheat suitability Not suitable Suitable (b) Barley suitability Rye Not suitable Suitable (c) Rye suitability Figure 6: Maps displaying the global suitability of plough-positive crops. 29 . barley and rye.

millet and sorghum. 30 .Millet Not suitable Suitable (a) Millet suitability Sorghum Not suitable Suitable (b) Sorghum suitability Figure 7: Maps displaying the global suitability of plough-negative crops.

35 An important final point arises from the fact that the plough-positive and plough-negative cereals used in the construction of our instruments were all originally grown in the Eastern hemisphere and were not cultivated in the Americas until after 1500. The F -test for joint significance of the two instruments is also reported in the table. and less female participation in politics. It is only for the indigenous populations of the Americas that the instrument will not vary plough adoption. suggesting that for some specifications there is a potential concern about weak instruments. the difference between the two coefficients is statistically significant. we also report conditional likelihood ratio (CLR) confidence intervals and LIML estimates in addition to the regular 2SLS estimates. as well as a measure of overall agricultural suitability. The F -statistics range from about 5–11.other potential determinants of plough use that may also affect gender attitudes today. the estimates are an average effect among the ethnic groups whose plough adoption was affected by the geo-climatic suitability for growing the cereal crops. For the large proportion of the population in the Americas whose ancestors are from the Eastern hemisphere. reported in Panel A of the table. less female ownership of firms. In all specifications. in Panel A. The first stage estimates show that the historic suitability for the cultivation of plough-positive cereals is always positively correlated with the adoption of the plough. while suitability for the cultivation of plough-negative cereals is generally negatively correlated with plough use. For this reason. Historic plough use is associated with less female labor force participation. Country-level estimates Table 5 reports IV estimates of the specifications from Table 2. The magnitude of the IV coefficients are consistently greater 35 See Bobek (1962) and Boserup (1970) for more on these determinants. A. This should be kept in mind when interpreting the IV estimates as a local average treatment effect (LATE). but it is a fact that makes the first stage relationship weaker than it would be otherwise. The IV estimates. the instrument will provide predictive power. we would not necessarily expect the indigenous groups from the Americas to be within the group. as measured by settlement patterns. This is not a concern to identification. Because the crops were not indigenous to the Americas. The first stage estimates are reported in the lower panel and the second stage estimates are in the top panel. 31 . In other words. including historic population density. confirm the OLS estimates.

761 -­‐43.29] [-­‐75.25 -­‐28.087) 0. selection introduces a positive relationship between historic plough use and female labor force participation today.079 (0.427 0. 36 The details of these controls.  -­‐3. ***.12 -­‐16.853** -­‐26. Contemporary controls include ln income.051) (12.70] [-­‐142.635) Historic  plough  use  (2SLS) Historic  plough  use  (LIML) p-­‐value CLR  intervals Historic  controls Contemporary  controls ConLnent  FEs ObservaLons R-­‐squared Plough-­‐posiLve  environment Plough-­‐negaLve  environment Equal  coeff  (p-­‐value) F-stat (excl instr) -­‐27.439) Females  in  poliLcs (5) (6) -­‐16.01 4.  0.045 yes yes no 133 yes yes yes 133 Panel  B.451*** -­‐1.014 yes yes yes 104 0.15 yes yes yes 157 0.120 (0. poliLcal hierarchies and economic complexity.412*** (0. 32 .  5  and  10%  levels.401*** -­‐0. and polity (in columns 5 and 6 only).656*** 0.90 0.  First  stage.467) (0.465) Share  of  firms  with  some   female  ownership (3) (4) -­‐19.274* (11.18 0. ** and * indicate significance at the  1. historically advanced societies were more likely to adopt the plough.001 -­‐0.  -­‐2. Further.24.  -­‐6.76 0.68 0.150) (0.820* -­‐23. This is potentially explained by selection arising from the endogeneity of plough adoption.561*** 0. The number of observaLons for the AES esLmates is the average number observaLons in the regressions for each outcome.  Dep  var:  Historic  plough  use 0.44 0. biasing the negative OLS estimates towards zero.143) (0.00 7. All else equal.331) Average  effect  size  (AES) (7) (8) -­‐1.60.47] [-­‐71. tropics.29 0.140) (0.  -­‐2. domesLcated animals.091) 0.075) (0.05 0.19 yes yes no 104 0. The primary concern is that the difference between plough-positive and plough-negative environments may be correlated with geographic features that affect gender attitudes today through channels other than the plough.03 0.55] yes yes no 157 0.101) -­‐0. than the OLS estimates.026 (0.340*** (0.  -­‐7. soil depth.00 10.01 0. Our controls36 include terrain slope.02 0.075) 0. Historic controls include agricultural suitability.65.63 0.117) -­‐0.06.423** (10.00 7. Panel  A.377*** (0.946*** (0.017 0. average temperature and average precipitation of locations inhabited by each country’s ancestors.03 [-­‐54.243) (12. they are more likely to also be advanced today with higher per capita incomes and more female participation in the labor market.089* (9.00 11.02] [-­‐66.  Dependent  variable: Femal  labor  force   parLcipaLon (1) (2) -­‐25.099 -­‐28.71 0.128 yes yes no 124 0.00 5. Therefore.939* -­‐26.09 Hausman  test  (p-­‐value) Notes: IV esLmates are reported with robust standard errors in brackets.54 0.167 yes yes yes 124 0. The unit of observaLon is a country. Robustness checks There are a number of potential concerns associated with our IV strategy.77] [-­‐47.03 0. We check the likelihood of this concern by controlling for a host of geographic characteristics that are potentially correlated with the suitability of the environment for plough-positive and plough-negative crops.101) (0.826 -­‐23.  Second  stage. a communism indicator.393 0.932) (14. including their sources are provided in the appendix.16 0.103) (0.Table 5: Country level IV estimates. ln income squared.032 -­‐0.

38 yes 157 0. 33 .427** (9.068) (5) -­‐25.371) yes (3) -­‐27. like the OLS estimates of the impact of the plough on female labor force participation. Further. These estimates are reported in Table 7. also remain robust to the additional controls.842*** (8.9. We also check the robustness of our IV estimates to the set of additional controls from Table 3.841) (4) -­‐18. which examines variation across individuals in the WVS. at the individual-level we continue to find persistent impacts of historic plough use. and a positive effect on the prevalence of attitudes of gender inequality. 6. The unit of observaGon is a country.777) yes (2) -­‐25. at the individual level we also find that the IV estimates are larger than the OLS estimates. The IV estimates.300) yes yes yes yes yes 157 0. Cultural transmission as a mechanism: Evidence from US immigrants We now turn to an examination of the causal mechanisms underlying our results. the point estimates remain very similar to the baseline estimate of 25.38 yes yes 157 0.44 yes yes 157 0.37 B. ***. Although our focus is on the evolution and persistence of cultural norms. The IV estimates (see Table 6) remain robust to the inclusion of these additional factors. Dependent variable: FLFP (1) Historic  plough  use Terrain  slope Soil  depth Average  temperature Average  precipitaGon Baseline  historic  and  contemporary  controls ObservaGons R-­‐squared -­‐33. the estimated impact of past plough use on current female labor force participation is negative and statistically significant. ** and * indicate significance  at  the  1.573*** (11. Consistent with the country-level IV estimates. In all specifications.Table 6: Robustness of IV estimates to additional geographic controls.29 yes 154 0. Individual-level estimates Table 8 reports IV estimates of equation (3). it is possible that part of the long term effect of historic use plough may arise because it facilitated the development of 37 The results are also robust for the two other outcome variables.  5  and  10%  levels.089*** (9.38 Notes: OLS esGmates are reported with robust standard errors in brackets. Like the country-level estimates. We estimate a negative effect of past plough use on the participation of women in the labor force.539** (10.

014*** (10.584) -­‐25. FracIon  of  European  descent Oil  producIon Trade/GDP Agric.974*** (10.563** (10.362** (9.38 (10) -­‐25.41 (7) -­‐21.606** (9. The unit of observaIon is a country. (1) Historic  plough  use Intensity  of  agriculture Absence  of  private  property Patrilocal  and  matrilocal  socieIes HunIng    and  herding  of  large  animals Nuclear  and  extended  families Baseline  historic  and  contemporary  controls ObservaIons R-­‐squared Historic  plough  use FracIon  of  major  religious  denomin.38 (8) -­‐25.003) yes yes 154 0.40 yes 156 0.737) yes -­‐28.43 yes 157 0. 34 .969*** (10.55 yes 148 0..40 yes yes 149 0.  5  and  10%  levels.188) yes yes yes yes 155 0. ***.930) -­‐28. ** and * indicate  significance  at  the  1.806* (11.27 (6) -­‐18.014) yes 157 0.303) yes yes 157 0.269** (9.44 yes 157 0.332*** (9.317) yes yes yes yes 157 0.Table 7: Robustness of IV estimates to alternative controls.250) (5) -­‐42.861) Notes: IV esImates are reported with robust standard errors in brackets.454* (22.  manuf.  and  services  share  of  GDP Baseline  historic  and  contemporary  controls ObservaIons R-­‐squared Second  stage  IV  esImates:  Dependent  variable:  FLFP (2) (3) (4) -­‐25.40 (9) -­‐25.

29 0. marital status.370 0.00 [0. domes2cated animals.044) 0.  Dependent  variable:  Historic  plough  use.347 0. and income. Individual controls are age.055) 0.  1. poli2cal hierarchies.00 When  jobs  are   scarce (2) 0.501.  0.00 [-­‐0.Table 8: Individual-level IV estimates.088) -­‐0.576** (0.079) -­‐0. Historic district controls include agricultural suitability.00 4.03 Men  be. 35 .  ***.00 7.  Dependent  variable: FLFP (1) -­‐0. Current country controls include ln income. Notes: The table reports IV es2mates.  5  and  10%  levels.524] yes yes yes yes 36. Panel  A.74 0.105 0.308.418 0. and economic complexity.386) 1.652] yes yes yes yes 67.273*** (0. age squared.170 0.er   Average  effect  size   poli2cal  leaders (AES) (3) (4) 1.585** (0.00 [1.400 Historic  plough  use   Historic  plough  use  (LIML) p-­‐value CLR  intervals Individual  controls Current  country  controls Historic  district  controls Con2nent  FE Observa2ons R-­‐squared Plough-­‐posi2ve  environment Plough-­‐nega2ve  environment Equal  coeff  (p-­‐value) F-­‐stat  (excl  instr)   Hausman  test  (p-­‐value) Panel  B.229) 0.00 7.00 yes yes yes yes 61.075* (0.328*** (0.  **  and  *  indicate  significance  at  the  1. educa2on.383*** 1. tropical areas.094* (0.  Second  stage.13 0.073) -­‐0.154 0.242) -­‐0.576 0.531] yes yes yes yes 55.338*** (0.  -­‐0.362) (0.454 0. with standard errors clustered at the country level.611 0.242*** (0.040) 0.041 (0. ln income squared and a communism indicator variable.700. The AES reported in column 4 is for the two subjec2ve belief measures  from  columns  2  and  3. The instruments are plough-­‐ posi2ve climate and plough-­‐nega2ve climate.  First  stage. gender (for gender actudes only).

s. To isolate the causal impact of the plough on individual beliefs and values. we examine variation among second generation immigrants – a group of individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. institutions.s.38 We identify the ancestry of women in the sample using their parent’s country-of-birth. the father’s country of birth. marital status and fixed effects for whether the person lives in a metropolitan or rural area. a quadratic for age. markets. and for the year the individual was surveyed. The dependent variable. is an indicator variable that equals one if individual i is in the C H labor market. institutions and policies. but all facing the same external environment.c = αs + β Ploughc + Xc Γ + Xc Π + Xi Φ + εi. Because in 1994. with different histories of ancestral plough use. However. Ploughc denotes the historic plough-use of those in country c. This yields three possible measures using either the mother’s country of birth. the CPS asks individuals about their country of origin and their parents’ country of origin. 38 Starting 36 . which include current and historic ethnographic controls. We use all the years available since 1994. we examine whether women with an ancestry of plough agriculture. etc). these may only differ because of differences in external factors (e.g. The different definitions also provide evidence for whether cultural transmission is stronger from the father to the daughter. the mother to the daughter. whose country of origin is country c. policies. are less likely to be in the labor force.c (4) where i denotes second generation women currently living in state s. As in equation (2). or when both occur. Xi indicates a vector of individual level controls. The regression also includes state fixed effects (denote by αs ). yi. real personal income. the plough causes less female participation in market activities because it affects the costs and benefits of these activities. Our individual-level estimates showing an impact of the plough on gender-role attitudes provide evidence that the plough has ultimately impacted beliefs and values. Xc and Xc denote the same vectors of covariates as in equation (2). which in turn shape individual beliefs. or restricting the sample to women for which both parent’s country of birth is the same. including markets.c .. Using data from the March Supplement of the Current Population Survey (CPS).s. not because it affects individual’s beliefs about whether these are appropriate activities for women.institutions and markets which are less conducive to the participation of women in activities outside of the domestic sphere. which includes dummies for education. Through this channel. To examine the impact of the plough on immigrant populations we estimate the following equation: C H yi.

We estimate equation (4) using two different samples: all women and married women. We next consider the possibility that a married women’s participation in the labor market may be influenced by her husband’s beliefs and values. but measure ancestry using the husband’s parents rather than the mother’s parents. In column 3 we restrict the sample to women whose parents were both born in the same country. The OLS estimates are reported in Table 9. the transmission of values and beliefs. we estimate a negative relationship between a tradition of plough-use in the home country and the women’s participation in the labor force. We continue to find a negative impact of traditional plough use on female labor force participation. we cluster all standard errors at this level. Specifically. the estimates suggest weaker transmission from the father than from the 37 . Columns 4–9 of Tables 9 and 10 report OLS and IV estimates when the sample is restricted to married women. we continue to find a weaker estimate when we use the husband’s father’s country of birth. while column 2 uses the mother’s country of birth.our variable of interest Ploughc only varies at the country of origin-level. IV estimates of the same specifications. For all three specifications. In other words. which were transmitted from his parents and their country of origin. reproduce the estimates of columns 4–6 of the tables. we also control for characteristics of the women’s husband. Columns 1–3 report estimates for the sample of all women. These estimates provide information on whether the husband’s beliefs and values play a role in his wife’s decisions. This provides evidence. since they may play an important role in the wife’s decision of whether to enter the labor market or not. We find an impact of a history of plough use among the husband’s ancestors on the wife’s participation in the labor market. (originating from the plough) is stronger from mothers to daughters than from fathers to daughters. the husband’s education. and his income. even when looking at the husband. Columns 4–6 reproduce the estimates of columns 1–3 for the more restricted sample. that at least for the subsample of married women. Interestingly. we control for a quadratic of the husband’s age. but now we find a smaller estimated impact when we trace ancestry using the father’s country of birth. Column 1 identify’s the women’s ancestry by her father’s country of birth. In columns 7–9 of Tables 9 and 10. When we estimate our regressions only for married women. The impact is roughly 50% lower for both the OLS and IV estimates. reported in columns 1–3 of Table 10 yield nearly identical results.

018) yes yes yes yes yes 9. domesQcaQon of animals. Husband controls include husband's age.832 0. age squared. Individual controls include age.047*** (0. marital status and income. and  a  communism  indicator  variable.505 0.864 0.  **  and  *  indicate  significance  at  the  1. poliQcal hierarchies and economic complexity.022) yes yes yes yes yes 7.381 38 Individual  controls Husband  controls Historic  country  controls Current  country  controls State  fixed  effects ObservaQons R-­‐squared Notes: OLS esQmates are reported with standard errors clustered at the country level.024) yes yes yes yes yes 8.021) Mother's   country (5) -­‐0. . Current country controls include ln income.376 27.219 0.Table 9: Immigrant OLS regressions.261 0.910 0.369 Parents  same   country (9) -­‐0. age squared.015 (0.044* (0.  ***.065*** (0.  5  and  10%  levels. educaQon and income.372 47. tropics. educaQon. Historic country controls include the origin country's historic agricultural suitability.386 Mother's   country (2) -­‐0. ln income squared.371 yes yes yes yes 8.211 0.401 8.042*** (0. Dependent  variable:  Labor  force  parQcipaQon  indicator All  women Women's  ancestry Women's  ancestry Married  women Husband's  ancestry Historic  plough  use Father's   country   (1) -­‐0.024) Father's   country (7) -­‐0.043* (0.012) Parents  same   country (3) -­‐0.886 0.027 (0.049** (0.022) Parents  same   country (6) -­‐0.013) Father's   country (4) -­‐0. An observaQon is a US immigrant.550 0.047** (0.37 yes n/a yes yes yes n/a yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes 5.365 Mother's   country (8) -­‐0.011) yes n/a yes yes yes 48.

43 66. age squared.013) Mother's country (2) -0.173) (0.149) -0.44 0.00 0.195*** (0.02 0.37 yes yes yes yes yes 5.47 65.212) 0.550 0.402** -0.160*** (0.040** (0.369 Parents same country (6) -0.00 0. Second Stage.026 (0.386 yes n/a yes yes yes n/a yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes 9.82 0.222) 0. Dep var: Historic plough use 1.034) (0.205*** (0. ln income squared. age squared.45 61. education and income. and a communism indicator variable.060* (0.064** (0.361** -0.031) Husband's ancestry Parents Father's Mother's same country country country (7) (8) (9) -0.00 60.016) Parents same country (3) -0. education.73 1.187) (0. Equal coeff (p-value) F-stat (excl instr) Hausman test (p-value) Panel B.22 Notes: IV estimates are reported with standard errors clustered at the country level. Individual controls include age.371 8.241*** (0.908 0.194*** (0. Plough-negative environ.019) Father's country (4) -0.863 0.64 0.227) (0.186) 0.050** -0.164) (0.870 0.50 State fixed effects Observations R-squared Plough-positive environ.00 85.029) yes yes yes yes yes 8. First stage.21 0.045*** (0.34 0.503 0. All regressions also control for state. An observation is a second generation US immigrant woman.16 0.370* (0.27*** 1. domestication of animals. political hierarchies and economic complexity.80 64.223*** 1.832 0.245 0.Table 10: Immigrant IV regressions.00 48.058*** (0.150) -0. Panel A.025) Mother's country (5) -0.00 0. 5 and 10% levels. .075 0.186) (0.365 Father's country (1) -0.372 47.19 1.025) (0.176) -0.19 0.372** -0.187) 0.170) (0.152) -0. tropics.394** (0.297*** 1.360 (0. year and metropolitan area fixed effects.209 0.401 8.00 54.180) 0.030) yes yes yes yes yes 7.348** (0. marital status and income. Current country controls include ln income. Dep var: Labor force participation indicator All women Women's ancestry Women's ancestry Married women Historic plough use yes n/a yes yes yes 48.168) -0.00 71.46 1.079** -0.54 0. ***.375 27.068** (0.421* -0.00 0. Husband controls include husband's age. ** and * indicate significance at the 1.176) (0.444** (0.381 Individual controls Husband controls Historic country controls Current country controls 39 1.188) (0.211*** 1. Historic country controls include the origin country's historic agricultural suitability.

plough cultivation as an important determinant of the evolution and persistence of traditional gender roles and 40 . For married women a one-standard-deviation increase in the historical plough use variable implies a decline in female labor force participation of 0. 7. in explaining the relationship between historic plough use and female labor force participation. Overall the impact of the plough on US second generation immigrant women is much smaller than the estimated impact from the country-level regressions. whether it is to the wife or the husband. These all may have been affected by historic plough use and early gender attitudes and may shape behavior and attitudes today. a one-standard-deviation increase in the historical plough use variable implies a decline in female labor force participation of the order of 0. based on the estimates from column 1 of Table 9.02. its policies. This suggest that other causal mechanisms are also important. It is also interesting that the estimates of the importance of the plough through the husband’s parents is in every specification stronger than the importance through the wife’s parents (i. approximately 3% of the sample average (this effect is the same when both parents have the same heritage).02. We obtain similar results when looking at the husband’s cultural origin. relative to other channels..mother. Conclusions Social anthropologists have long-considered the use of shifting hoe cultivation vs. but the data do not support this. Therefore. the most likely candidates being the nature of a country’s institutions. this is far from the whole story. One may have expected stronger transmission from father to son.e. than from mother to son. and the structure of economy. Transmission of beliefs about gender appears strongest from the mother. Comparing the magnitude of the immigrant estimates with the country-level estimates allows us to glean some evidence of the relative importance of cultural transmission. This suggests that the beliefs of the husband are at least as important as the beliefs of the wife in determining whether she enters the labor force. For the whole sample. although we have identified a statistically important role for cultural transmission and cultural persistence in explaining the persistent impact of traditional plough use. This is consistent with the previous findings of Fernandez and Fogli (2009). comparing columns 4–6 with 7–8). which is approximately 3% of the sample average (the effect is double when parents come from the same country).

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