Reshaping Adolescents’ Gender Attitudes: Evidence from a School-Based Experiment in India

48 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2018

See all articles by Diva Dhar

Diva Dhar

University of Oxford; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Tarun Jain

Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad

Seema Jayachandran

Northwestern University - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 30, 2018

Abstract

Societal norms about gender roles contribute to the economic disadvantages facing women in many developing countries. This paper evaluates an intervention aimed at eroding support for restrictive gender norms, specifically a multi-year school-based intervention in Haryana, India, that engaged adolescents in classroom discussions about gender equality. Using a randomized controlled trial, we find that the intervention increased adolescents’ support for gender equality by 0.25 standard deviations, a sizable effect compared to other correlates of their gender attitudes such as their parents’ views. Program participants also report more gender-equitable behavior; for example, boys report helping out more with household chores.

Keywords: Gender equality, preference formation, social norms, persuasion

JEL Classification: J12, J13, J16, O12

Suggested Citation

Dhar, Diva and Jain, Tarun and Jayachandran, Seema, Reshaping Adolescents’ Gender Attitudes: Evidence from a School-Based Experiment in India (November 30, 2018). Buffett Institute Global Poverty Research Lab Working Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3301068 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3301068

Diva Dhar

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ( email )

Seattle, WA
United States

Tarun Jain

Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad ( email )

Seema Jayachandran (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Economics ( email )

2003 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

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