Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Men. Roots and Consequences of Masculinity Norms

Author(s): Victoria Baranov, Ralph de Haas and Pauline Grosjean

Publication Date: March 2020

Keyword(s): Cultural persistence, identity, Masculinity, Natural Experiment and Sex ratio

Programme Area(s): Development Economics, Economic History and Labour Economics

Abstract: We document the historical roots and contemporary consequences of masculinity norms: beliefs about the proper conduct of men. We exploit a natural experiment in which convict transportation in the 18th and 19th centuries created a variegated spatial pattern of sex ratios across Australia. Areas that were heavily male-biased in the past (though not the present) remain characterized by more violence, male suicide, occupational gender segregation, opposition to same-sex marriage, and bullying of boys in schools. We interpret these results as manifestations of masculinity norms that emerged due to intense local male-male competition and that have persisted to this day.

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Bibliographic Reference

Baranov, V, de Haas, R and Grosjean, P. 2020. 'Men. Roots and Consequences of Masculinity Norms'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.