PRESS (Princeton Research in Experimental Social Science) WORKSHOP
Open to Princeton students, fellows, and faculty working on experimental research design in the social sciences
Female Employment and Bargaining Dynamics: A Lab Experiment in Jordan
Does employment empower women? In the Middle East and North Africa, observational data from the Arab Barometer and the Egyptian Labor Market Panel Survey show that working (among women) or having a wife who works (among men) is correlated with more liberal attitudes on a range of questions about gender equality. However, it is unclear from observational data whether employment induces more gender-egalitarian attitudes or whether more egalitarian attitudes facilitate women working. To unpack this mechanism, we will run a lab-in-the-field experiment in Jordan in which participants earn money in an effort task and then engage in a bargaining process in pairs (both mixed-gender and single-gender) over how to use the money they have earned in the context of purchasing an insurance policy. Participants will first pick their preferred policy individually. Then partners will pool their resources and must reach a joint decision on a preferred policy. We will examine the effect of earning different amounts of money relative to one's partner---amounts randomly assigned, but described to the participants as earned based on performance---on the bargaining process and outcome. Whose preferences prevail? Does earning money based on performance make women more assertive in bargaining situations, and are men more deferential to women's opinions when they know women are earning money? Finally, we will ask participants a battery of questions about gender equality in order to assess the effects of earning money and undergoing this bargaining process on gender egalitarian attitudes.