Diffusion of Gender Norms: Evidence from Stalin's Ethnic Deportations

68 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2019

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2019


We study horizontal between-group cultural transmission using a unique historical setting, which combines exogenous group exposure with no control over how and whether the representatives of different groups interact. Stalin's ethnic deportations during WWII moved over 2 million people, the majority of whom were ethnic Germans and Chechens, from the Western parts of the USSR to Central Asia and Siberia. As a result, the native population in the destination locations was exposed to groups with drastically different gender norms, depending on the group composition of the deportees. We estimate the effect of this exposure relying on the fact that within subnational regions the local population was fairly homogeneous, and the deportation destinations were determined by local demand for manual labor, orthogonal to the identity or skills of deportees. Combining historical archival data with contemporary surveys, we document that both the norms of gender equality and of gender discrimination were diffused to the local population exposed to deportee groups with these norms, manifesting itself in changes of attitudes and behavior.

Keywords: Deportations, Gender norms, Horizontal cultural transmission, Stalin

Suggested Citation

Jarotschkin, Alexandra and Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, Diffusion of Gender Norms: Evidence from Stalin's Ethnic Deportations (July 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13865. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3428389

Alexandra Jarotschkin (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-7214 (Phone)

Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics