Past Event

Development Workshop: Eliana La Ferrara

February 8, 2024
4:10 PM - 5:40 PM
Event time is displayed in your time zone.
1101 IAB

As part of Columbia University's Spring 2024 Development Workshop, Eliana La Ferrara will present "Changing Harmful Norms through Information and Coordination: Experimental Evidence from Somalia" at the Development Seminar.


Female Genital Cutting (FGC) is a harmful practice affecting millions of women around the world. In Somalia, the prevalence of FGC is nearly universal (99 percent). We experimentally evaluate two interventions to decrease the prevalence of the most harmful type of FGC (infibulation) in Somalia: (1) correcting misperceptions about the support for the practice, and (2) public declarations of community members to abandon FGC. We find that on average community members overestimate the community support for infibulation. Correcting this misperception is effective in reducing infibulation. In the short-term, this leads to an increase in the intermediate type of FGC (Sunna), but it also increases the likelihood that parents report they plan not to cut their younger, uncut daughters. The public declaration treatment does not significantly affect infibulation, except in communities where participants had high priors about community support for abandoning the practice