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Gender Inequality, Endogenous Cultural Norms, and Economic Development


  • Victor Hiller

    1. LEMMA, University Paris II Pantheon-Assas, Paris, France
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    • I would like to thank Thomas Baudin, Cecilia Garcia-Peñalosa, Fabio Mariani, Natacha Raffin, Bertrand Wigniolle, two anonymous referees, and numerous seminar participants for useful comments and suggestions.


In this paper, I explore the joint dynamics between gender inequality and cultural norms along the process of development. Cultural norms regarding gender roles are shaped by the relative female labor supply, and thus depend on the gender gap in education. In turn, these norms influence the relative education provided to boys and girls. I show that this two-way causality between the inegalitarian nature of norms and the educational gender gap might explain the emergence of high gender inequality and low development traps. The model also makes it possible to replicate a U-shaped relationship between the relative status of women and the economic development.

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