Centre for Development Economics
Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics


Social Norms And Governance: The Behavioral Response To Female Leadership 


 Tarun Jain

 Indian School of Business, Hyderabad

Wednesday, 6th May 2015 at 3:00 PM

Venue : Seminar Room (First Floor)
Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics

All are cordially invited

This paper uses data from an artefactual field experiment and surveys conducted in 40 Indian villages to examine whether men and women respond differently to women as leaders and the reaction of female leaders to men’s perceptions. We investigate the extent to which behavior towards leaders is influenced by experience with female leaders. We find evidence of a significant male backlash against female leaders. We examine reasons for this male backlash, and whether it persists over time. Our results suggest that this resistance is due to violation of social norms when women are assigned positions of leadership and propose that utility functions incorporating identity incentives sustain this backlash as equilibrium behavior. Increased exposure to female leaders reduces the extent of bias.

back to seminars...