Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research

No 5/2018: Does Integration Change Gender Attitudes? The Effect of Randomly Assigning Women to Traditionally Male Teams

Gordon B. Dahl , Andreas Kotsadam and Dan-Olof Rooth
Additional contact information
Gordon B. Dahl: UC San Diego and IZA
Andreas Kotsadam: Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research
Dan-Olof Rooth: Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University, Postal: SOFI, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: We examine whether exposure of men to women in a traditionally male-dominated environment can change attitudes about mixed-gender productivity, gender roles and gender identity. Our context is the military in Norway, where we randomly assigned female recruits to some squads but not others during boot camp. We find that living and working with women for 8 weeks causes men to adopt more egalitarian attitudes. There is a 14 percentage point increase in the fraction of men who think mixed-gender teams perform as well or better than same-gender teams, an 8 percentage point increase in men who think household work should be shared equally and a 14 ercentage point increase in men who do not completely disavow feminine traits. Contrary to the predictions of many policymakers, we find no evidence that integrating women into squads hurt male recruits’ satisfaction with boot camp or their plans to continue in the military. These findings provide evidence that even in a highly gender-skewed environment, gender stereotypes are malleable and can be altered by integrating members of the opposite sex.

Keywords: gender attitudes; occupational segregation; contact theory

JEL-codes: J16; J24

41 pages, April 9, 2018

Full text files

FULLTEXT01.pdf PDF-file Full text

Download statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Stefan Englund ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ().

This page generated on 2018-04-09 15:27:45.