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Reshaping Adolescents' Gender Attitudes: Evidence From a School-Based Experiment in India (WP-19-08)

Diva Dhar, Tarun Jain, and Seema Jayachandran

Societal norms about gender roles contribute to the economic disadvantages facing women in many developing countries. This paper evaluates an intervention aimed at eroding support for restrictive gender norms, specifically a multi-year school-based intervention in Haryana, India, that engaged adolescents in classroom discussions about gender equality. Using a randomized controlled trial, the researchers find that the intervention increased adolescents' support for gender equality by 0.25 standard deviations, a sizable effect compared to other correlates of their gender attitudes such as their parents' views. Program participants also report more gender-equitable behavior; for example, boys report helping out more with household chores.

Diva Dhar, DPhil Student, University of Oxford

Tarun Jain, Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Indian School of Business

Seema Jayachandran, Professor of Economics and IPR Fellow, Northwestern University

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