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The Boy Crisis: Experimental Evidence on the Acceptance of Males Falling Behind

Author

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  • Cappelen, Alexander W.

    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Falch, Ranveig

    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Tungodden, Bertil

    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

Abstract

The ‘boy crisis’ prompts the question of whether people interpret inequalities differently depending on whether males or females are lagging behind. We study this question in a novel large-scale distributive experiment involving more than 5,000 Americans. Our data provide strong evidence of a gender bias against low-performing males, particularly among female participants. A large set of additional treatments establishes that the gender bias reflects statistical fairness discrimination. The study provides novel evidence on the nature of discrimination and on how males falling behind are perceived by society.

Suggested Citation

  • Cappelen, Alexander W. & Falch, Ranveig & Tungodden, Bertil, 2019. "The Boy Crisis: Experimental Evidence on the Acceptance of Males Falling Behind," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 6/2019, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics, revised 01 Mar 2019.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2019_006
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    Cited by:

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    2. Nisvan Erkal & Lata Gangadharan & Boon Han Koh, 2022. "Do women receive less blame than men? Attribution of outcomes in a prosocial setting," University of East Anglia School of Economics Working Paper Series 2022-05, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    3. Grewenig, Elisabeth & Lergetporer, Philipp & Werner, Katharina & Woessmann, Ludger & Zierow, Larissa, 2021. "COVID-19 and educational inequality: How school closures affect low- and high-achieving students," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    4. Yuki Takahashi, 2020. "The Role of Gender and Cognitive Skills on Other People's Generosity," Papers 2012.04591, arXiv.org, revised Oct 2021.
    5. Chuan, A. & Zhang, W., 2021. "Non-College Occupations, Workplace Routinization, and the Gender Gap in College Enrollment," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2177, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender bias; boy crisis; statistical fairness discrimination; large-scale experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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