Endogenous Gender Norms: Evidence from Africa’s Gold Mining Industry


Tolonen, Anja. 2018. "Endogenous Gender Norms: Evidence from Africa’s Gold Mining Industry." CDEP‐CGEG Working Paper No. 62, Center for Development Economics and Policy and the Center on Global Economic Governance, Columbia School of International and Public Affairs, New York.

Author: Anja Tolonen


Does industrial development change gender norms? This is the first paper to causally explore the local effects of a continent-wide exogenous expansion of a modern industry on gender norms. The identification strategy relies on plausibly exogenous temporal and spatial variation in gold mining in Africa. The establishment of an industrial-scale mine changes local gender norms: justification of domestic violence decreases by 19%, women have better access to healthcare, and are 31% more likely to work in the service sector. The effects happen alongside rapid economic growth. The findings are robust to assumptions about trends, distance, and migration, and withstand a spatial randomization test. The results show that entrenched gender norms can change rapidly in the presence of economic development.

Keywords: gender norms, female empowermnet, local industrial development, gold mining

Topics: Development, Domestic Violence, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Livelihoods Regions: Africa

Year: 2018

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