Gender Inequality and the Direction of Ideas: Evidence from #MeToo
59 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2021 Last revised: 13 Jul 2021
Date Written: July 2, 2021
Does the #MeToo movement affect the gender orientation of ideas and who develops which types of ideas? We examine these questions in the context of Hollywood. Since #MeToo affected the entire industry, we use variation in whether producers had past collaborations with Harvey Weinstein to discern the movement’s impact. We find that relative to non-associated producers, there is, on average, no significant change in the likelihood of developing female-protagonist stories by Weinstein-associated producers after #MeToo versus before, despite the fact that they now work substantially more with female writers. This is because, among projects by Weinstein-associated producers, female writers are significantly less likely than male writers to work on female-protagonist stories after #MeToo. Moreover, compared to their non-associated counterparts, the depiction of female protagonists by Weinstein-associated producers after #MeToo is less traditionally feminine. Overall, our findings suggest that #MeToo may have helped mitigate the frictions and biases that prevent female talent from exploring parts of the idea space that are typically associated with men and may have shaped the nature of female-oriented works.
Keywords: Gender inequality, Gender segregation, Social movement, Direction of innovation, Cr1eative industries
JEL Classification: D91, J16, M14, L82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation