Beliefs about Beliefs About Gender in India: Implications for Female Labor Force Participation and Time Use

In this survey-based field experiment, we will first measure whether men in India 1) have inaccurate beliefs about what other men around them view as appropriate or status-enhancing when it comes to women's engagement with labor market work; 2) have inaccurate beliefs about how much women can earn if working outside the home and their physical safety while working outside the home. We will use information treatments to randomly correct married men's beliefs and measure how much this changes their wives' labor force participation and time use. We will further tailor our research design to the Indian context to better understand whose beliefs might be particularly relevant to own behavior. In particular, we will contrast the effect of changing beliefs about one's own Jati (caste) members with the effect of changing beliefs about upper caste members to test a Sanskritization hypothesis under which economically upwardly mobile lower caste Indians might be trying to emulate the upper castes as way to further legitimize their elevated status in society.

RFP Cycle:
Spring 2021
  • Full project