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Gender Norms and the Motherhood Penalty: Experimental Evidence from India

Author

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  • Bedi, Arjun S.

    (ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Majilla, Tanmoy

    (ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Rieger, Matthias

    (ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Abstract

This paper uses a field experiment to study the effect of perceived gender norms on the motherhood penalty in the Indian labor market. We randomly reported motherhood on fictitious CVs sent to service sector job openings. We generated exogenous variation in gender norms by prominently signaling patrilineal or matrilineal community origins of applicants. Employers are less likely to callback mothers relative to women or men without children, but only if they are of patrilineal origin. Mothers of matrilineal origin face no such penalty. We discuss the results in relation to the competing influence of ethnicity, the Indian context and theories of discrimination.

Suggested Citation

  • Bedi, Arjun S. & Majilla, Tanmoy & Rieger, Matthias, 2018. "Gender Norms and the Motherhood Penalty: Experimental Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 11360, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11360
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sarkhel, Sukanya & Mukherjee, Anirban, 2020. "Motherhood and labor market penalty: a study on Indian labor market," GLO Discussion Paper Series 673, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    2. Arjun Bedi & Tanmoy Majilla & Matthias Rieger, 2022. "Does signaling childcare support on job applications reduce the motherhood penalty?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 373-387, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender; culture; motherhood penalty; ethnic discrimination; field experiment; India;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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