Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Eradicating Women-Hurting Customs: What Role for Social Engineering?

Author(s): Emmanuelle Auriol, Giula Camilotti and Jean-Philippe Platteau

Publication Date: June 2017

Keyword(s): coordination incentives, deterrence, expressive function of law, Gender, harmful customs and Social norms

Programme Area(s): Development Economics

Abstract: Social engineering refers to deliberate attempts, often under the form of legislative moves, to promote changes in customs and norms that hurt the interests of marginalized population groups. This paper explores the analytical conditions under which social engineering is more or less likely to succeed than more indirect approaches when it comes to suppress gender-biased customs. This implies discussing the main possible interaction frameworks leading to anti-women equilibria, and deriving policy implications from the corresponding games. The theoretical arguments are illustrated by examples drawn from available empirical works, thus providing a reasoned survey of the literature.

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Bibliographic Reference

Auriol, E, Camilotti, G and Platteau, J. 2017. 'Eradicating Women-Hurting Customs: What Role for Social Engineering?'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.