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Does Integration Change Gender Attitudes? The Effect of Randomly Assigning Women to Traditionally Male Teams

Author

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  • Dahl, Gordon B.

    (University of California, San Diego)

  • Kotsadam, Andreas

    (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

  • Rooth, Dan-Olof

    (Stockholm University)

Abstract

We examine whether exposure of men to women in a traditionally male-dominated environment can change attitudes about mixed-gender productivity, gender roles and gender identity. Our context is the military in Norway, where we randomly assigned female recruits to some squads but not others during boot camp. We find that living and working with women for 8 weeks causes men to adopt more egalitarian attitudes. There is a 14 percentage point increase in the fraction of men who think mixed-gender teams perform as well or better than same-gender teams, an 8 percentage point increase in men who think household work should be shared equally and a 14 percentage point increase in men who do not completely disavow feminine traits. Contrary to the predictions of many policymakers, we find no evidence that integrating women into squads hurt male recruits' satisfaction with boot camp or their plans to continue in the military. These findings provide evidence that even in a highly gender-skewed environment, gender stereotypes are malleable and can be altered by integrating members of the opposite sex.

Suggested Citation

  • Dahl, Gordon B. & Kotsadam, Andreas & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2018. "Does Integration Change Gender Attitudes? The Effect of Randomly Assigning Women to Traditionally Male Teams," IZA Discussion Papers 11323, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11323
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    Cited by:

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    2. Kevin Lang & Ariella Kahn-Lang Spitzer, 2020. "Race Discrimination: An Economic Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 68-89, Spring.
    3. Hara, Hiromi & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria, 2021. "Long-Term Consequences of Teaching Gender Roles: Evidence from Desegregating Industrial Arts and Home Economics in Japan," IZA Discussion Papers 14611, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Finseraas, Henning & Hanson, Torbjørn & Johnsen, Åshild A. & Kotsadam, Andreas & Torsvik, Gaute, 2019. "Trust, ethnic diversity, and personal contact: A field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 173(C), pages 72-84.
    5. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Iyer, Lakshmi & Vecci, Joseph, 2018. "Leader Identity and Coordination," IZA Discussion Papers 11803, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Sofia Amaral & Sonia Bhalotra & Nishith Prakash, 2019. "Gender, Crime and Punishment: Evidence from Women Police Stations in India," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-309, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    7. Macchiavello, Rocco & Menzel, Andreas & Rabbani, Atonu & Woodruff, Christopher, 2020. "Challenges of Change: An Experiment Promoting Women to Managerial Roles in the Bangladeshi Garment Sector," CEPR Discussion Papers 15085, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Baranov, Victoria & de Haas, Ralph & Grosjean, Pauline, 2018. "Men. Roots and Consequences of Masculinity Norms," Discussion Paper 2018-041, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    9. Marco Battaglini & Jorgen M. Harris & Eleonora Patacchini, 2020. "Professional Interactions and Hiring Decisions: Evidence from the Federal Judiciary," NBER Working Papers 26726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Edwin Ip & Andreas Leibbrandt & Joseph Vecci, 2020. "How Do Gender Quotas Affect Workplace Relationships? Complementary Evidence from a Representative Survey and Labor Market Experiments," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(2), pages 805-822, February.
    11. María Amelia Gibbons & Martín Rossi, 2020. "Military Conscription, Sexist Attitudes, and Intimate Partner Violence," Working Papers 140, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jun 2020.
    12. Martín Gonzalez-Eiras & Carlos Sanz, 2018. "Women’s representation in politics: voter bias, party bias, and electoral systems," Working Papers 1834, Banco de España.
    13. Michaela Slotwinski & Alois Stutzer, 2018. "Women Leaving the Playpen: The Emancipating Role of Female Suffrage," CESifo Working Paper Series 7002, CESifo.
    14. Zoë B. Cullen & Ricardo Perez-Truglia, 2019. "The Old Boys' Club: Schmoozing and the Gender Gap," NBER Working Papers 26530, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Einiö, Elias, 2019. "Mixing the Rich and Poor: The Impact of Peers on Education and Earnings," Working Papers 128, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    16. Alice H. Wu, 2020. "Gender Bias among Professionals: An Identity-Based Interpretation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(5), pages 867-880, December.
    17. Huichao Du & Yun Xiao & Liqiu Zhao, 2021. "Education and gender role attitudes," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 475-513, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender attitudes; occupational segregation; contact theory;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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