Multitasking: Productivity Effects and Gender Differences
AbstractWe examine how multitasking affects performance and check whether women are indeed better at multitasking. Subjects in our experiment perform two different tasks according to three treatments: one where they perform the tasks sequentially, one where they are forced to multitask, and one where they can freely organize their work. Subjects who are forced to multitask perform significantly worse than those forced to work sequentially. Surprisingly, subjects who can freely organize their own schedule also perform significantly worse. Finally, our results do not support the stereotype that women are better at multitasking. Women suffer as much as men when forced to multitask and are actually less inclined to multitask when being free to choose.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 11-044/3.
Date of creation: 22 Feb 2011
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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl
multitasking; productivity; gender; lab experiment;
Other versions of this item:
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-03-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2011-03-26 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2011-03-26 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-HRM-2011-03-26 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-LAB-2011-03-26 (Labour Economics)
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Multitasking: Productivity Effects and Gender Differences
by Nicholas Gruen in Club Troppo on 2011-03-28 23:52:10
- Foster, Gigi & Kalenkoski, Charlene M., 2012. "Measuring the Relative Productivity of Multitasking to Sole-tasking in Household Production: New Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 6763, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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