The Effects of Sexism on American Women: The Role of Norms vs. Discrimination
We study how reported sexism in the population affects American women. Fixed-effects and TSLS estimates show that higher prevailing sexism where she was born (background sexism) and where she currently lives (residential sexism) both lower a woman's wages, labor force participation and ages of marriage and childbearing. We argue that background sexism affects outcomes through the influence of previously-encountered norms, and that estimated associations regarding specific percentiles and male versus female sexism suggest that residential sexism affects labor market outcomes through prejudice-based discrimination by men, and non-labor market outcomes through the influence of current norms of other women.
We thank seminar participants at the NBER, ASSA Meetings, University of Chicago, UC-Berkeley, Iowa State University, American University, Princeton University, Purdue University, the University of Michigan and many colleagues for helpful comments and discussions. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.