Can Job Training Decrease Women's Self-Defeating Biases? Experimental Evidence from Nigeria

39 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2017

See all articles by Kevin Croke

Kevin Croke

World Bank

Markus Goldstein

World Bank

Alaka Holla

World Bank; Brown University; Innovations for Poverty Action

Date Written: July 10, 2017

Abstract

Occupational segregation is a central contributor to the gap between male and female earnings worldwide. As new sectors of employment emerge, a key question is whether this pattern is replicated. This paper examines this question by focusing on the emerging information and communications technology sector in Nigeria. Using a randomized control trial, the paper examines the impacts of an information and communications technology training intervention that targeted university graduates in five major cities. The analysis finds that after two years the treatment group was 26 percent more likely to work in the information and communications technology sector. The program appears to have succeeded only in shifting employment to the new sector, as it had no average impact on the overall likelihood of being employed. However, viewed through the lens of occupational segregation, the program had a surprising effect. For women who at baseline were implicitly biased against associating women with professional attributes, the likelihood that the program induced switching into the information and communications technology sector was more than three times as large than that of unbiased women. These results suggest that training programs can help individuals overcome self-defeating biases that could hamper mobility and reduce efficiency in the labor market.

Keywords: Anthropology, Gender and Social Development, Educational Populations, Education for Development (superceded), ICT Economics, Education For All

Suggested Citation

Croke, Kevin and Goldstein, Markus P. and Holla, Alaka, Can Job Training Decrease Women's Self-Defeating Biases? Experimental Evidence from Nigeria (July 10, 2017). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8141, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3006215

Markus P. Goldstein

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Alaka Holla

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Brown University ( email )

Box 1860
Providence, RI 02912
United States

Innovations for Poverty Action ( email )

1731 Connecticut Ave, 4th floor
New Haven, CT 20009
United States

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