Endogenous Gender Roles: Evidence From Africa's Gold Mining Industry

90 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2018 Last revised: 22 Feb 2019

See all articles by Anja Benshaul-Tolonen

Anja Benshaul-Tolonen

Barnard College - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 19, 2019


Does industrial development change gender roles? This is the first paper to causally explore the effects of a continent-wide expansion of a modern industry on gender roles, captured by attitudes and behaviors. Identification relies on plausibly exogenous spatial-temporal variation in gold mining in Africa. The establishment of industrial-scale mines induces female empowerment—justification of domestic violence decreases by 19%, women have better access to healthcare, and are 31% more likely to work in services— alongside rapid economic growth. Findings are robust to assumptions about trends, distance, and migration and show that gender roles can change rapidly with economic development.

Keywords: Gender Roles, Female Empowerment, Local Industrial Development, Gold Mining

JEL Classification: O12, O13, J16

Suggested Citation

Tolonen, Anja, Endogenous Gender Roles: Evidence From Africa's Gold Mining Industry (February 19, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3284519 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3284519

Anja Tolonen (Contact Author)

Barnard College - Department of Economics ( email )

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