Socialised gender norms may influence the economic expectations men and women have.
A recent study published in PNAS suggests that women are more likely to expect higher future inflations rates than men, due to common gender roles.
Women largely do more grocery shopping than men, and therefore routinely see different price signals, because grocery prices are volatile. This means many women remember price increases more acutely and predict higher inflation rates.
This in turn affects how and what women buy, but is a result of social conditioning, not personal innate characteristic.
The effect was largest in households where a woman was solely responsible for grocery shopping, but the trend was not seen in households where grocery shopping was split evenly – instead, family members predicted inflation to be the same.
“This gender expectations gap can be detrimental for women’s economic choices and long-term wealth, because it might reduce the effectiveness of economic policies, induce stress, and affect women’s well being,” the authors say in their paper.
The team, led by Francesco D’Acunto of Boston College, US, analysed the results of an anonymised survey of predominantly hetero-partnered Americans, so this may not reflect all countries or non-traditional household dynamics.
Deborah Devis is a science journalist at Cosmos. She has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Honours) in biology and philosophy from the University of Sydney, and a PhD in plant molecular genetics from the University of Adelaide.
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