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Are Gender Norms Systematic to Caste Institutions? Examining preferences through a Social Experiment in North Indian Villages.

  • April 29, 2022
  • Aparajita Dasgupta, Ashokankur Datta

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In this paper we examine how traditional institutions like caste interact with socioeconomic status to mediate the perception of gender roles and attitudes around female labour force participation. We use third party vignettes to directly test the validity of the hypothesis that lower castes have more egalitarian gender norms and lower acceptance of restrictions on female autonomy. We find that the relationship between conservative gender norms and caste are in turn influenced by the class status of households, measured by land or asset ownership. Lastly, we conduct a simple social experiment to test for ‘pluralistic ignorance’ and confirm the presence of systematic overestimation of conservative attitude that varies by caste and class identities.

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