|Title||Female Labor Force Participation Rate, Islam, and Arab Culture in Cross-Cultural Perspective|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2015|
|Authors||Korotayev, Andrey V., Issaev, Leonid M., and Shishkina, Alisa R.|
|Pagination||3 - 19|
|Keywords||Arab culture, Arab world, female employment, gender, gender bias, Islam, labor force|
Burton and Reitz suggested that Islam should tend to decrease the levels of female labor force participation rate, because “societies that seclude their women by means of purdah or similar customs will have lower rates of female participation in activities outside of the immediate household.” Our cross-cultural tests have supported this hypothesis. However, a closer analysis shows that a high correlation is predicted mostly by the “Arab factor,” rather than by the precisely Islamic one, as a country’s belonging to the Arab world turns out to be a much stronger predictor of very low female labor participation rates than the percentage of Muslims in its population. These relationships hold even after controlling for other factors known to be related to female labor participation. This suggests that the anomalously low level of female labor participation observed in the Near and Middle East might be connected with certain elements of Arab culture that are not directly connected with Islam.