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IBS Speaker Series: Earned Income and Women’s Segmented Empowerment: Experimental Evidence from Jordan

October 28, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Amaney A. Jamal (Princeton)

Title: Earned Income and Women’s Segmented Empowerment: Experimental Evidence from Jordan

Abstract: Does earning income empower women in patriarchal societies? We conduct two original experiments in Amman, Jordan that investigate how patriarchy constrains the effects of relative earned income on women’s bargaining power and women’s preferences for paid employment opportunities. In the first experiment, we randomize women’s earned income relative to male and female partners in a bargaining lab game. Women randomly assigned higher incomes than their partners behave more efficaciously than women with lower incomes. They are only more influential over bargaining outcomes, however, when paired with women, not men. We then employ a conjoint survey experiment using hypothetical job opportunities to assess how the prospect of higher incomes and working alongside men affect women’s job preferences. While higher wages make a job more desirable, mixed-sex workspaces are a strong deterrent. Together, these findings provide new evidence that patriarchal factors both constrain women’s desire to engage in paid labor and segment the empowering effects of women’s earned income.

Bio: Amaney A. Jamal is the Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Politics at Princeton University and Director of the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice. Jamal also directs the Workshop on Arab Political Development and the Bobst-American University of Beirut Collaborative Initiative.

Her book, Barriers to Democracy (2007), which explores the role of civic associations in promoting democratic effects in the Arab world, won the 2008 American Political Science Best Book Award in the Comparative Democratization section. Her other books include, Of Empires and Citizens and her co-edited volume Arab Americans Before and After 9/11. Jamal’s articles have appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Comparative Politics, Perspectives on Politics, International Migration Review, and other venues. Her article “Does Islam Play a Role in anti-Immigrant Sentiment: An Experimental Approach.”, in Social Science Research 2015 won the 2016 Louis Wirth Best Article Award: American Sociological Association, International Migration Section. Jamal is the co-Principal of the Arab Barometer Project (Winner of the Best Dataset in the Field of Comparative Politics (Lijphart/Przeworski/Verba Dataset Award 2010), and has secured over 4 million dollars in grants for this and other projects from the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), National Science Foundation (NSF), NSF: Time-Sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences (TESS), Qatar National Research Fund, (QNRF), United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Luce Foundation.

In 2006, Jamal was named a Carnegie Scholar. She holds a Phd from the University of Michigan (2003). Her areas of specialization are the Middle East and North Africa, mass and political behavior, political development and democratization, inequality and economic segregation, Muslim Immigration (US and Europe), gender, race, religion, and class.


October 28, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Program on International Development


IBS 155
Institute of Behavioral Science 1440 15th Street
Boulder, CO 80302
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