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Deciding to decide: Gender, leadership and risk-taking in groups

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  • Ertac, Seda
  • Gurdal, Mehmet Y.

Abstract

Being the leader in a group often involves making risky decisions that affect the payoffs of all members, and the decision to take this responsibility in a group is endogenous in many contexts. In this paper, we experimentally study: (1) the willingness of men and women to make risky decisions on behalf of a group, (2) the amount of risk men and women take for the group, in comparison to their individual decisions. We observe a striking difference between males and females, with a much lower fraction of women being willing to make the group decision than men. The amount of risk taken for the group is generally lower than in the case where subjects decide for themselves only, indicating a cautious shift. The women that would like to make the group decision and the women that do not are no different in terms of how much risk they take for themselves, nor for their group. For men, on the other hand, we find that the ones who would like to lead tend to take more risk on behalf of the group.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 83 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 24-30

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:83:y:2012:i:1:p:24-30

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

Related research

Keywords: Gender; Group decision-making; Risk; Leadership; Experiments;

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References

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  1. Ronald J. Baker II & Susan K. Laury & Arlington W. Williams, 2008. "Comparing Small-Group and Individual Behavior in Lottery-Choice Experiments," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 367-382, October.
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  3. Uri Gneezy & Kenneth L. Leonard & John A. List, 2008. "Gender Differences in Competition: Evidence from a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society," NBER Working Papers 13727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dinky Daruvala, 2007. "Gender, risk and stereotypes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 265-283, December.
  5. Kristoffer Eriksen & Ola Kvaløy, 2010. "Do financial advisors exhibit myopic loss aversion?," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 159-170, June.
  6. Davis, James H., 1992. "Some compelling intuitions about group consensus decisions, theoretical and empirical research, and interpersonal aggregation phenomena: Selected examples 1950-1990," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 3-38, June.
  7. Matthias Sutter, 2008. "Individual behavior and group membership: Comment," Jena Economic Research Papers 2008-075, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  8. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  9. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  10. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete too Much?," Discussion Papers 04-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  11. RobertS. Shupp & ArlingtonW. Williams, 2008. "Risk preference differentials of small groups and individuals," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 258-283, 01.
  12. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance In Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074, August.
  13. Masclet, David & Colombier, Nathalie & Denant-Boemont, Laurent & Lohéac, Youenn, 2009. "Group and individual risk preferences: A lottery-choice experiment with self-employed and salaried workers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 470-484, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Antonio FILIPPIN & Paolo CROSETTO, 2014. "A Reconsideration of Gender Differences in Risk Attitudes," Departmental Working Papers 2014-01, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  2. Charness, Gary & Viceisza, Angelino, 2012. "Comprehension and Risk Elicitation in the Field: Evidence from Rural Senegal," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt5512d150, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  3. Sule Alan & Nazli Baydar & Teodora Boneva & Thomas Crossley & Seda Ertac, 2013. "Parental socialisation effort and the intergenerational transmission of risk preferences," IFS Working Papers W13/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria, 2013. "Leadership at school: Does the gender of siblings matter?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(1), pages 61-64.
  5. Seda Ertac & Mehmet Y. Gurdal, 2013. "Preference Communication and Leadership in Group Decision-Making," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1324, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
  6. Seda Ertac & Mehmet Y. Gurdal, 2012. "Personality, Group Decision-Making and Leadership," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1227, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
  7. Jeroen Nieboer, 2013. "Risk taking in diverse groups: Gender matters," Discussion Papers 2013-06, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  8. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri, 2012. "Strong Evidence for Gender Differences in Risk Taking," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 50-58.
  9. Valeria Faralla & Alessandro Innocenti & Eva Venturini, 2013. "Risk Taking and Social Exposure," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 046, University of Siena.

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