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Gender discrimination and social identity: experimental evidence from urban Pakistan

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  • Adeline Delavande
  • Basit Zafar

Abstract

Gender discrimination in South Asia is a well-documented fact. However, gender is only one of an individual?s many identities. This paper investigates how gender discrimination depends on the social identities of interacting parties. We use an experimental approach to identify gender discrimination by randomly matching 2,836 male and female students pursuing bachelor?s-equivalent degrees in three different types of institutions?Madrassas (religious seminaries), Islamic universities, and liberal universities?that represent distinct identities within the Pakistani society. Our main finding is that gender discrimination is not uniform in intensity and nature across the educated Pakistani society and varies as a function of the social identity of both individuals who interact. While we find no evidence of higher-socioeconomic-status men discriminating against women, men of lower socioeconomic status and higher religiosity tend to discriminate against women--but only women of lower socioeconomic status who are closest to them in social distance. Moreover, this discrimination is largely taste-based. Our findings suggest that social policies aimed at empowering women need to account for the intersectionality of gender with social identity.

Suggested Citation

  • Adeline Delavande & Basit Zafar, 2013. "Gender discrimination and social identity: experimental evidence from urban Pakistan," Staff Reports 593, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:593
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    Cited by:

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    2. Adida, Claire L. & Laitin, David D. & Valfort, Marie-Anne, 2012. "Gender, Economic Development and Islam: A Perspective from France," IZA Discussion Papers 6421, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Francisco B. Galarza, 2017. "Trust and Trustworthiness in College: An Experimental Analysis," Working Papers 17-03, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
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    5. Delavande, Adeline & Zafar, Basit, 2015. "Stereotypes and Madrassas: Experimental evidence from Pakistan," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 247-267.
    6. Lutfunnahar Begum & Philip J. Grossman & Asadul Islam, 2018. "Gender Bias in Parental Attitude: An Experimental Approach," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 55(5), pages 1641-1662, October.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Stereotype (Psychology); Women - Education; Social choice; Sex discrimination against women;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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