We study the impact of lockdown measures on beliefs regarding gender norms. We collect data from a representative sample of 1,000 individuals in France during the first COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. To measure beliefs in gender norms, we use questions from the European Values Study, and match respondents from the two surveys to compare beliefs before and during lockdown. We find evidence that the first lockdown was associated with a shift towards more traditional beliefs in gender norms. The effect is mainly driven by men and individuals who were the most time constrained during lockdown: individuals with young children living in the household. We also find evidence that is consistent with a "conservative shift" hypothesis: beliefs in traditional gender roles increase more for individuals from economically vulnerable groups. Overall, our results suggest that there is no ratchet effect regarding beliefs in gender norms: when there is a reversal in the conditions that enable individuals to believe in equal gender norms (such as the ability to outsource household production or economic stability), individuals shift their beliefs towards less equal gender norms.
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