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Unraveling the impact of harmful social norms on development: Eliana La Ferrara, Samuel Moyn, and Rohini Pande on addressing hidden barriers to progress

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Manage episode 370959430 series 3409669
Вміст надано EGC Podcasts. Весь вміст подкастів, включаючи епізоди, графіку та описи подкастів, завантажується та надається безпосередньо компанією EGC Podcasts або його партнером по платформі подкастів. Якщо ви вважаєте, що хтось використовує ваш захищений авторським правом твір без вашого дозволу, ви можете виконати процедуру, описану тут https://uk.player.fm/legal.

How do social norms – the set of informal rules, beliefs, and biases that govern behavior in a given group or society ­– affect the development process? While positive norms can support and accelerate development, harmful ones like slavery or female genital cutting can constrain it, exacerbating poverty and inequality. While social change in many high-income countries has reduced the prevalence of the most harmful norms over time, they continue to exist in many low- and middle-income countries, often preventing disadvantaged communities and groups from reaching their full potential.

In this episode of EGC Voices in Development, Rohini Pande is joined by Eliana La Ferrara and Samuel Moyn to discuss the “stickiness” of harmful social norms, both today and throughout history – and how changing such norms is often at the heart of the development challenge.

Rohini Pande, Henry J. Heinz II Professor of Economics and Director of EGC, frames the discussion by considering how research in development economics often approaches norms from the perspective of political economy, which often focuses on formal institutions. While this has generated important insights about the role and influence of formal institutions on economic development, it has focused less on how harmful norms can be perpetuated through informal institutions – such as marriage dynamics within individual households – and how these can impede development.

Samuel Moyn, Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and History, notes that we can learn many lessons from historical examples of advocacy for social change. In the United States in the 19th century, for example, abolitionists confronted an entrenched set of political, social, and economic systems in their fight to abolish slavery. Moyn underscores the difficulties abolitionists faced in seeking to spark that change, and the radical shifts in social norms that were required.

Eliana La Ferrara, Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, draws on her research on female genital cutting in Sierra Leone and Somalia to analyze the role of social and cultural norms in economic development. She notes the cultural weight of the harmful practice in some cases, but has also noticed that the persistence of such practices often arises not from widely-held social beliefs, but the perception that these beliefs are widely held – a phenomenon in social psychology known as “pluralistic ignorance.”

This wide-ranging discussion touches on many examples of harmful norms, both from history and today, and considers how they might be changed at the grassroots and broader levels. Indeed, a key challenge is embracing the notion that changing harmful norms can unlock development success.

  continue reading

13 епізодів

Artwork
iconПоширити
 
Manage episode 370959430 series 3409669
Вміст надано EGC Podcasts. Весь вміст подкастів, включаючи епізоди, графіку та описи подкастів, завантажується та надається безпосередньо компанією EGC Podcasts або його партнером по платформі подкастів. Якщо ви вважаєте, що хтось використовує ваш захищений авторським правом твір без вашого дозволу, ви можете виконати процедуру, описану тут https://uk.player.fm/legal.

How do social norms – the set of informal rules, beliefs, and biases that govern behavior in a given group or society ­– affect the development process? While positive norms can support and accelerate development, harmful ones like slavery or female genital cutting can constrain it, exacerbating poverty and inequality. While social change in many high-income countries has reduced the prevalence of the most harmful norms over time, they continue to exist in many low- and middle-income countries, often preventing disadvantaged communities and groups from reaching their full potential.

In this episode of EGC Voices in Development, Rohini Pande is joined by Eliana La Ferrara and Samuel Moyn to discuss the “stickiness” of harmful social norms, both today and throughout history – and how changing such norms is often at the heart of the development challenge.

Rohini Pande, Henry J. Heinz II Professor of Economics and Director of EGC, frames the discussion by considering how research in development economics often approaches norms from the perspective of political economy, which often focuses on formal institutions. While this has generated important insights about the role and influence of formal institutions on economic development, it has focused less on how harmful norms can be perpetuated through informal institutions – such as marriage dynamics within individual households – and how these can impede development.

Samuel Moyn, Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and History, notes that we can learn many lessons from historical examples of advocacy for social change. In the United States in the 19th century, for example, abolitionists confronted an entrenched set of political, social, and economic systems in their fight to abolish slavery. Moyn underscores the difficulties abolitionists faced in seeking to spark that change, and the radical shifts in social norms that were required.

Eliana La Ferrara, Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, draws on her research on female genital cutting in Sierra Leone and Somalia to analyze the role of social and cultural norms in economic development. She notes the cultural weight of the harmful practice in some cases, but has also noticed that the persistence of such practices often arises not from widely-held social beliefs, but the perception that these beliefs are widely held – a phenomenon in social psychology known as “pluralistic ignorance.”

This wide-ranging discussion touches on many examples of harmful norms, both from history and today, and considers how they might be changed at the grassroots and broader levels. Indeed, a key challenge is embracing the notion that changing harmful norms can unlock development success.

  continue reading

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