12:00—1:00 PM
Center for Global Development, 1800 Massachussets Ave, NW, Third Floor, Washington, DC

The Origin of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough

Nathan Nunn
Professor of Economics
Harvard University

With Discussant
Vivian Hoffman
Assistant Professor of Agriculture and Resource Economics
University of Maryland

Nathan Nunn will present his work on the historical origins of cross-cultural differences in beliefs about the appropriate role of women in society. In his paper on the subject, Nunn uses reported gender-role attitudes and female participation in the workplace to test the hypothesis that traditional agricultural practices influenced the historical gender division of labor as well as the evolution and persistence of gender norms. Consistent with existing hypotheses, he finds that descendants of societies that traditionally practiced plough agriculture have less equal gender norms today.

*The Massachusetts Ave. Development Seminar (MADS) is a ten year-old research seminar series that brings some of the world's leading development scholars to discuss their new research and ideas. The presentations meet an academic standard of quality and are at times technical, but retain a focus on a mixed audience of researchers and policymakers.

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