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Misperceived social norms: women working outside the home in Saudi Arabia


Bursztyn, Leonardo; González, Alessandra L; Yanagizawa-Drott, David (2020). Misperceived social norms: women working outside the home in Saudi Arabia. American Economic Review, 110(10):2997-3029.

Abstract

We show that the vast majority of young married men in Saudi Arabia privately support women working outside the home (WWOH) and substantially underestimate support by other similar men. Correcting these beliefs increases men’s (costly) willingness to help their wives search for jobs. Months later, wives of men whose beliefs were corrected are more likely to have applied and interviewed for a job outside the home. In a recruitment experiment with a local company, randomly informing women about actual support for WWOH leads them to switch from an at-home temporary enumerator job to a higher-paying, outside-the-home version of the job.

Abstract

We show that the vast majority of young married men in Saudi Arabia privately support women working outside the home (WWOH) and substantially underestimate support by other similar men. Correcting these beliefs increases men’s (costly) willingness to help their wives search for jobs. Months later, wives of men whose beliefs were corrected are more likely to have applied and interviewed for a job outside the home. In a recruitment experiment with a local company, randomly informing women about actual support for WWOH leads them to switch from an at-home temporary enumerator job to a higher-paying, outside-the-home version of the job.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Economics and Econometrics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Economics and econometrics
Language:English
Date:October 2020
Deposited On:08 Jan 2021 14:40
Last Modified:13 Jan 2021 04:23
Publisher:American Economic Association
ISSN:0002-8282
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.20180975

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