A CGD policy note with Tanvi Jaluka and Michael Brown on IMF Article IV negotiations since gender was declared 'macrocritical.' In short, there has been increased attention to the issue as reflected in word counts and discussion of women’s labor force participation, but there is still a long way to go.
A paper by Dev Patel and me for CGD. This analysis examines the relationship between legal reform and social norms surrounding homosexuality. We document three main findings. First, about a fifth of the variation in individual preferences can be explained at a country level. Second, using a difference-in-differences strategy, legalizing homosexuality improves how individuals view the tone of their communities. Third, we provide further evidence supporting a legal origins argument by examining former colonies. Countries that were colonized by the British Empire have significantly worse legal rights for samesex couples than those under other colonial powers. We conclude that adopting legal reform can improve societal attitudes.
A CGD Working Paper with Dev Patel. This paper analyzes six waves of responses from the World Values Survey to understand the determinants of beliefs about women’s roles in society and their relationship with the legal system and outcomes. Using survey data for 300,000 individuals, we find that characteristics of an individual’s home country only explain about a fifth of the variation in values, and a single individual can report strongly different norms about women’s equality across different domains. There is a strong correlation between norms, laws and female labor force participation and between norms and the proportion of legislators who are women—but not between norms and relative female tertiary education. There is some suggestive evidence that laws may be more significant than norms in determining female employment outcomes, but the available evidence does not allow for strong causal statements at the cross-country level.
A CGD note with Megan O'Donnell, accompanied by a blog looking at the private sector's record of involving women in innovation (car companies: awful, biomed: better). It is a shocking waste of talent that women are just 15% of listed inventors on patents worldwide. There are things we could do to make that better.