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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ranveig Falch, 2021. "How Do People Trade Off Resources Between Quick and Slow Learners?," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2021_04, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    2. Sona Badalyan & Darya Korlyakova & Rastislav Rehak, 2023. "Disclosure Discrimination: An Experiment Focusing on Communication in the Hiring Process," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp743, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    3. Shuya He & Charles N. Noussair, 2024. "Gender stereotypes and hiding low performance," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 62(2), pages 525-542, April.
    4. Erkal, Nisvan & Gangadharan, Lata & Koh, Boon Han, 2023. "Do women receive less blame than men? Attribution of outcomes in a prosocial setting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 210(C), pages 441-452.
    5. 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).
    6. Falch, Ranveig, 2022. "How do people trade off resources between quick and slow learners?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    7. Yuki Takahashi, 2020. "The Role of Gender and Cognitive Skills on Other People's Generosity," Papers 2012.04591, arXiv.org, revised Oct 2021.
    8. 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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