DP14493 Men. Roots and Consequences of Masculinity Norms

Author(s): Victoria Baranov, Ralph de Haas, Pauline Grosjean
Publication Date: March 2020
Date Revised: December 2020
Keyword(s): Cultural persistence, identity, Masculinity, Natural Experiment, Sex ratio
JEL(s): I31, J12, J16, N37, Z13
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Development Economics, Economic History
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14493

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.