Speakers for the series this year include:
September Brown Bag: "Can biometric verification get more cash to poor women? Evidence from Pakistan"
By Kate Vyborny, joint with Amen Jalal and Muhammad Haseeb
Join us on September 13th for a talk with Kate Vyborny, Research Scientist at the Duke University Department of Economics & Associate Director of DevLab.
Abstract: Many countries target low-income women for cash transfer programs but struggle to ensure that female beneficiaries personally receive and retain control over these funds. Biometric verification may address this issue by requiring beneficiaries to personally withdraw funds after authenticating their fingerprints. While this may reduce unauthorized withdrawals and capture of funds by other household members, it may also increase time and money costs of withdrawal and cause unintended exclusion of eligible beneficiaries. We exploit the staggered rollout of biometric identity verification in Pakistan’s Benazir Income Support Programme to assess its impact on the delivery of cash to low-income women and downstream effects on women's wellbeing and empowerment.
October Brown Bag: "Labor Market Response to Gendered Breadwinner Norms: Evidence from India"
By Sakshi Gupta
Join us on October 11th for a talk with Sakshi Gupta, Ph.D. student in Columbia University's Department of Economics.
Abstract: Over the past few decades, Indian women have become more educated and have gained greater control over their fertility decisions, but, unlike the western experience, this has not led to increased participation in the labor market. I examine the role played by the male breadwinner norm in explaining this puzzle. I first establish a sharp discontinuity in the distribution of the share of the wife’s income in the total household income where the wife’s income exceeds the husband’s income. The size of this discontinuity is much larger than that observed in developed countries like the U.S. I show that this pattern can be best explained by gender identity norms that make couples averse to situations where the wife earns more than her husband. I do so by interpreting the male breadwinner norm as a notch in household preferences which results in this kind of aversion. Moreover, I show that this aversion has real implications on the labor market decisions of the wife. First, she is less likely to participate in market activities if her potential income is likely to exceed her husband’s. Second, she earns less than her potential if she does work and can potentially out-earn her husband. I observe that this phenomenon is more pronounced in couples where husbands are making the labor market decisions of their wives and in households that follow other regressive gender norms suggesting backlash.
November Brown Bag: "Rebel With a Cause: Impact of a Gender Norms Training on Young Adolescents in Somalia"
By Sreelakshmi Papineni, joint with Rajdev Brar, Niklas Buehren, and Munshi Sulaiman
Join us on November 8th for a talk with Sreelakshmi Papineni, Economist at the World Bank Gender Innovation Lab.
Abstract: This paper uses a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the impact of a gender norms training program to young adolescents (aged 10 to 14 years) in Somalia. In addition to self-reported gender attitudes and behaviors, the paper leverages novel lab-in-the field experimental games designed to examine observed behaviors, such as outcomes related to leadership and social conformity. To examine conformity, adolescents were asked to report their gender beliefs in private, and in public while randomly positioned with a group of peers. The paper finds that the program leads to an increase in the gender equitable attitudes of both adolescent girls and boys; and importantly to greater non-conformist behavior when stating their gender beliefs in public in a lab setting. Trained adolescents also report improved mental health outcomes where they face less emotional and behavioral problems and show more caring behavior towards siblings of the opposite sex. The paper provides weak evidence of trained boys increasing their involvement in domestic chores, relative to a control group. The paper also finds limited marginal impact on adolescent outcomes of a complementary gender norms training delivered to parents. The results highlight the potential for programs that raise awareness of societal expectations that create conformity and enable gender inequality.
December Brown Bag
By Morgan Hardy
Join us on December 13th for a talk with Morgan Hardy, Assistant Professor of Economics at New York University Abu Dhabi.
January Brown Bag
By Kehinde F. Ajayi
Join us on January 10th for a talk with Kehinde F. Ajayi, Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development.
February Brown Bag
By Aparajita Dasgupta
Join us on February 14th for a talk with Aparajita Dasgupta, Assistant Professor of Economics at Ashoka University.
March Brown Bag
By Maria Micaela Sviatschi
Join us on March 14th for a talk with Maria Micaela Sviatschi, Assistant Professor in Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University.
April Brown Bag
By Carolina Castilla
Join us on April 11th for a talk with Carolina Castilla, Richard M. Kessler Professor of Economics Studies and Associate Professor of Economics, Colgate University; Adjunct Associate Professor at Cornell Dyson School.
May Brown Bag: "The Local Transmission of Gender Norms: Evidence from India"
By Patrick Agte and Arielle Bernhardt
Join us on May 9th for a talk with Patrick Agte, a PhD student at Princeton University, and Arielle Bernhardt, a PhD student at Harvard University.
Abstract: Adivasi (or tribal) women in India have historically had much more equitable gender norms than their caste counterparts. In this project, we show evidence of local spillovers of norms within villages in India: caste women are significantly more likely to participate in the labor force outside of their homes when they have more Adivasi neighbors. To isolate mechanisms, we exploit historical variation in the status of Adivasi groups and collect survey data to assess whether these norms operate primarily through supply or demand.
June Brown Bag: "Keeping Women Out: Incumbency and Renomination Patterns for Female Politicians in India"
By Francesca Refsum Jensenius
Join us on June 13th for a talk with Francesca Refsum Jensenius, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Oslo.