Edlund, Lena, and Rohini Pande. “Why Have Women Become Left-Wing? The Political Gender Gap and the Decline in Marriage”. Quarterly Journal of Economics 117.3 (2002): , 117, 3, 917-961. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The last three decades have witnessed the rise of a pohtical gender gap in the United States wherein more women than men favor the Democratic party. We trace this development to the decline in marriage, which we posit has made men richer and women poorer. Data for the United States support this argument. First, there is a strong positive correlation between state divorce prevalence and the political gender gap—higher divorce prevalence reduces support for the Democrats among men but not women. Second, longitudinal data show that following marriage (divorce), women are less (more) likely to support the Democratic party.

Ashraf, Nava, Erica Field, and Jean Lee. “Household Bargaining and Excess Fertility: An Experimental Study in Zambia”. (2013). Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We posit that household decision-making over fertility is characterized by moral hazard due to the fact that most contraception can only be perfectly observed by the woman. Using an experiment in Zambia that varied whether women were given access to contraceptives alone or with their husbands, we find that women given access with their husbands were 19% less likely to seek family planning services, 25% less likely to use concealable contraception, and 27% more likely to give birth. However, women given access to contraception alone report a lower subjective well-being, suggesting a psychosocial cost of making contraceptives more concealable.

Gargani, Ghalia, May Al-Dabbagh, and Hannah Riley Bowles. Rethinking Women Leadership Development Programs in the UAE. 2012. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In the increasingly globalized context of the UAE, women’s leadership
development programs have become  high on the agenda of government,
academic and private sector organizations. Accordingly, the UAE
is an interesting location to examine the growth in women’s leadership
development programs and to better understand their evolution, goals and
impacts. These programs vary greatly in levels of impact, some providing
models to follow and continue building upon and others offering a learning
opportunity on what works and what doesn’t in the UAE particularly and
the region more generally. With a roundtable discussion on women’s
leadership development as a backdrop, which brought together experts from
three key sectors (private, public, academic), this policy brief reevaluates
women’s leadership development programs in the UAE. Through a diversity of perspectives, important questions regarding women’s leadership development are posed with the ultimate goal to present key recommendations to policy makers in the UAE about how to improve and strengthen such programs

Field, Erica, and Rohini Pande. “Repayment Frequency and Default in Micro-Finance: Evidence from India”. Journal of European Economic Association Papers and Proceedings 6 .(2-3) (2008): , 6 , (2-3), 501-550. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In stark contrast to bank debt contracts, most micro-finance contracts require that repayments start nearly immediately after loan disbursement and occur weekly thereafter. Even though economic theory suggests that a more flexible repayment schedule would benefit clients and potentially improve their repayment capacity, micro-finance practitioners argue that the fiscal discipline imposed by frequent repayment is critical to preventing loan default. In this paper we use data from a field experiment which randomized client assignment to a weekly or monthly repayment schedule and find no significant effect of type of repayment schedule on client delinquency or default. Our findings suggest that, among micro-finance clients who are willing to borrow at either weekly or monthly repayment schedules, a more flexible schedule can significantly lower transaction costs without increasing client default. (JEL: O12, O16, O22)

Ashraf, Nava, Oriana Bandiera, and Kelsey B Jack. “No Margin, No Mission? A Field Experiment on Incentives for Public Services Delivery”. (2014). Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We conduct a field experiment to evaluate the effect of extrinsic rewards, both financial and non-financial, on the performance of agents recruited by a public health organization to promote HIV prevention and sell condoms. In this setting: (i) non-financial rewards are effective at improving performance; (ii) the effect of both rewards is stronger for pro-socially motivated agents; (iii) the effect of both rewards is stronger when their relative value is higher. The findings illustrate that extrinsic rewards can improve the performance of agents engaged in public service delivery, and that non-financial rewards can be effective in settings where the power of financial incentives is limited. 

Maya Sen

Maya Sen

Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Amitabh Chandra

Amitabh Chandra

Ethel Zimmerman Wiener Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Henry and Allison McCance Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
Zoe Marks

Zoe Marks

Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
2013-2015 WAPPP Fellow

Zoe Marks is a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Her research and teaching interests focus on the intersections of conflict and political violence; race, gender and inequality; peacebuilding; and African politics.... Read more about Zoe Marks

Max Bazerman

Max Bazerman

Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
Mansbridge, Jane, and Katherine Flaster. “The cultural politics of everyday discourse: The case of “male chauvinist””. Critical Sociology 33.4 (2007): , 33, 4, 627-660. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The spread of the term “male chauvinist,” coined in the United States around 1934, reveals the crucial work done in a social movement — in this case the second wave of American feminism — by what we call “everyday activists.” Everyday activists may not interact with the world of formal politics, but they take actions in their own lives to redress injustices that a contemporary social movement has made salient. The interplay between organized and everyday activists creates an evolutionary dynamic of “organized activist variation” and “everyday activist selection.” Organized activists in tightly-knit and protected enclaves (such as those in the American Communist Party in the 1930s or the feminist movement in the late 1960s) produce a cornucopia of counter-hegemonic concepts. Everyday activists then select the concepts they will use, primarily for the purpose of persuasion, in everyday talk.

Mansbridge, Jane, and Shauna L Shames. “Toward a Theory of Backlash: Dynamic Resistance and the Central Role of Power”. Politics & Gender 44 (2008): , 4, 4, 623-634. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

To understand backlash theoretically, we must first carve out an analytically useful term from the cluster of its common political associations. In colloquial usage, “backlash” denotes politically conservative reactions to progressive (or liberal) social or political change (Faludi 1991 is a classic in this vein). Here, however, we attempt a nonideological definition of backlash embedded in a more neutral approach to its study. In colloquial usage, backlash includes acts of genuine persuasion as well as of power. Here, however, we suggest that it may be analytically helpful to confine its meaning to acts of coercive power. We draw on the sociological literature on social movements and countermovements, as well as the political science literature on power, preferences, and interests. We focus mostly on examples drawn from the United States and relating to feminism and gender. We begin where the process of backlash itself begins, with power and a challenge to the status quo.