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Faculty Research Fellows Talk with Alessandra Voena

Thu November 2nd 2023, 12:00 - 1:00pm

Alessandra Voena: "How Are Gender Norms Perceived?"

Actual and perceived gender norms are key to understanding gender inequality in society. Professor Voena, using newly collected nationally representative datasets from 60 countries that cover over 80% of the world population, will discuss gender norms on two distinct policy issues: 1) basic rights, allowing women to work outside of the home, and 2) affirmative action, prioritizing women when hiring for leadership positions. Her study establishes that misperceptions of gender norms are pervasive across the world. The nature of the misperception, however, is context dependent. In less gender-equal countries, people underestimate support for both policies, particularly among men; in more gender-equal countries, people overestimate support for affirmative action, particularly among women, and underestimate support for basic rights. Voena will provide evidence of gender stereotyping and overweighting of the minority view as potential drivers of the global patterns of misperceptions. Together, the findings indicate how misperceptions of gender norms may obstruct progress toward gender equality, but also may contribute to sustaining gender policies that are not necessarily favored by women themselves.

Alessandra Voena is Professor of Economics.

Clayman Faculty Affiliates are welcome to attend the lunch seminars.  All Stanford academics are eligible to become Clayman Institute Faculty Affiliates. Please RSVP to Lea Gottlieb (lgottlie [at] (lgottlie[at]stanford[dot]edu)) if you wish to attend.