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PlusCa Change? evidence on global trends in gender norms and stereotypes


  • Stephanie Seguino


Gender norms and stereotypes that perpetuate inequality are deeply embedded in social and individual consciousness and, as a result, are resistant to change. Gender stratification theories propose that women's control over material resources can increase bargaining power to leverage change in key institutions, prompting a shift to more equitable norms. By extension, policies that promote women's paid employment should serve as a fulcrum for gender equitable change. Is there any evidence to support this hypothesis? Investigating this requires a means to capture gender norms and stereotypes. The World Values Survey provides just such a mechanism because it contains a series of gender questions that span a twenty-year period and includes respondents from more than seventy countries. This paper uses that survey's data to analyze determinants of trends in norms and stereotypes over time and across countries, and finds evidence that increases in women's paid employment promotes gender equitable norms and stereotypes.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephanie Seguino, 2007. "PlusCa Change? evidence on global trends in gender norms and stereotypes," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 1-28.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:13:y:2007:i:2:p:1-28
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700601184880

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alessandro Innocenti & Maria Grazia Pazienza, 2006. "Altruism and Gender in the Trust Game," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 005, University of Siena.
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    More about this item


    Economic growth; employment; gender ideology; gender norms and stereotypes; gender roles; globalization; JEL Codes: A14; J16; J21;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure


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