DP13234 More Women in Tech? Evidence from a field experiment addressing social identity

Author(s): Lucia Del Carpio, Maria Guadalupe
Publication Date: October 2018
Keyword(s):
JEL(s): D91, J16, J24
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=13234

This paper investigates whether social identity considerations-through beliefs and norms- drive women's occupational choices. We implement two field experiments with potential applicants to a five-month software-coding program offered to women from low-income backgrounds in Peru and Mexico. When we correct the perception that women cannot succeed in technology by providing role models, information on returns and access to a female network, application rates double and the self-selection patterns change. Analysis of those patterns suggests that identity considerations act as barriers to entering the technology sector and that some high-cognitive skill women do not apply because of their high identity costs.