Seminario de Investigación: Frontier History and Gender Norms in the United States

El seminario destinado a docentes, investigadores, becarios y estudiantes interesados en la temática, se realizó el viernes 4 de agosto a las 12:30 hs. en la sala 425 de nuestra Facultad de Ciencias Económicas UNLP, a cargo de Martín Fiszbein (Boston University & NBER).

Martín Fiszbein es Profesor en Boston University e investigador en el National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Tiene un PhD en Economía por Brown University y es Licenciado en Economía por la UBA. También ha dictado cursos en Harvard University. Sus investigaciones se centran en temas de economía política, desarrollo y crecimiento con perspectiva histórica y sus trabajos han sido publicados en revistas académicas como Econometrica, Quarterly Journal of Economics, AEA: Papers & Proceedings, AEJ: Macroeconomics, Journal of Economic History, Journal of Public Economics y European Economic Review, entre otras. 

Abstract: This paper explores how historical gender roles become entrenched as norms over the long run. In the historical United States, gender roles on the frontier looked starkly different from those in settled areas. Male-biased sex ratios led to higher marriage rates for women and lower for men. Land abundance favored higher fertility. The demands of childcare, compounded with isolation from extended family as well as a lack of social and market infrastructure, constrained female opportunities outside the home. Frontier women were less likely to report “gainful employment,” but among those who did, relatively more had high-status occupations. Together, these findings integrate contrasting narratives about frontier women—some emphasizing their entrepreneurial independence, others their prevailing domesticity. The distinctive frontier gender roles, in turn, shaped norms over the long run. Counties with greater historical frontier exposure exhibit lower female labor force participation through the 21st century. Time use data suggests this does not come with additional leisure but rather with more household work. These gender inequalities are accompanied by weaker political participation among women. While the historical frontier may have been empowering for some women, its predominant domesticity reinforced inegalitarian gender norms over the long run.

Autores: Samuel Bazzi (UC San Diego, CEPR, & NBER), Abel Brodeur (University of Ottawa), Martin Fiszbein (Boston University & NBER) y Joanne Haddad (Université Libre de Bruxelles)


Organiza: Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas, Departamento de Economía y Revista Económica


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