Gender Roles and the Gender Expectations Gap

35 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2021

See all articles by Francesco D'Acunto

Francesco D'Acunto

Georgetown University

Ulrike Malmendier

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Michael Weber

University of Chicago - Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 5 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

Expectations about economic variables vary systematically across genders. In the domain of inflation, women have persistently higher expectations than men. We argue that traditional gender roles are a significant factor in generating this gender expectations gap as they expose women and men to different economic signals in their daily lives. Using unique data on the participation of men and women in household grocery chores, their resulting exposure to price signals, and their inflation expectations, we document a tight link between the gender expectations gap and the distribution of grocery shopping duties. Because grocery prices are highly volatile, and consumers
focus disproportionally on positive price changes, frequent exposure to grocery prices increases perceptions of current inflation and expectations of future inflation. The gender expectations gap is largest in households whose female heads are solely responsible for grocery shopping, whereas no gap arises in households that split grocery chores equally between men and women. Our results indicate that gender differences in inflation expectations arise due to social conditioning rather than through differences in innate abilities, skills, or preferences.

Keywords: Gender Gap, Expectations, Perceptions, Experiences, Social Conditioning

JEL Classification: C90, D14, D84, E31, E52, G11

Suggested Citation

D'Acunto, Francesco and Malmendier, Ulrike and Weber, Michael, Gender Roles and the Gender Expectations Gap (2020). LawFin Working Paper No. 16, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3797091 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3797091

Francesco D'Acunto

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Ulrike Malmendier

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States
(510) 642-8724 (Phone)
(510) 642-6615 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.berkeley.edu/~ulrike/

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

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Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/personnel/photos/index_html?key=918

Michael Weber (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Finance ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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