DP13413 Reshaping Adolescents' Gender Attitudes: Evidence from a School-Based Experiment in India

Author(s): Diva Dhar, Tarun Jain, Seema Jayachandran
Publication Date: December 2018
Keyword(s): Gender equality, Persuasion, preference formation, Social norms
JEL(s): J12, J13, J16, O12
Programme Areas: Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=13413

Societal norms about gender roles contribute to the economic disadvantages facing women in many developing countries. This paper evaluates an intervention aimed at eroding support for restrictive gender norms, specifically a multi-year school-based intervention in Haryana, India, that engaged adolescents in classroom discussions about gender equality. Using a randomized controlled trial, we find that the intervention increased adolescents' support for gender equality by 0.25 standard deviations, a sizable effect compared to other correlates of their gender attitudes such as their parents' views. Program participants also report more gender-equitable behavior; for example, boys report helping out more with household chores.