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Do Women Prefer a Co-operative Work Environment?

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  • Peter Kuhn

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2127 North Hall, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9210)

  • Marie-Claire Villeval

    ()
    (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)

Abstract

Are women disproportionately attracted to work environments where cooperation rather than competition is rewarded ? This paper reports the results of a real-effort experiment in which participants choose between an individual compensation scheme and a team-based payment scheme. We find that women are more likely than men to select team-based compensation in our baseline treatment, but women and men join teams with equal frequency when we add an efficiency advantage to team production. Using a simple structural discrete choice framework to reconcile these facts, we show that three elements can account for the observed patterns in the team-entry gender gap : (1) a gender gap in confidence in others (i.e. women are less pessimistic about their prospective teammates’ relative ability), (2) a greater responsiveness among men to instrumental reasons for joining teams, and (3) a greater “pure” preference for working in a team environment among women.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure in its series Working Papers with number 1127.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:1127

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Keywords: gender; cooperation; self-selection; confidence; experiment;

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References

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  1. Boschini, Anne & Sjögren, Anna, 2004. "Is Team Formation Gender Neutral? Evidence from coauthorship patterns," Research Papers in Economics 2004:11, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Women prefer cooperative work environments
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-10-24 14:01:00
  2. Men, Women and Teams
    by Christopher Shea in Ideas Market on 2011-11-11 17:52:34
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Cited by:
  1. Friesen, Lana & Gangadharan, Lata, 2012. "Individual level evidence of dishonesty and the gender effect," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 624-626.
  2. E. Glenn Dutcher & Krista Jabs Saral, 2012. "The Impact of Beliefs on Effort in Telecommuting Teams," Working Papers 2012-22, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  3. Dutcher, E. Glenn & Saral, Krista Jabs, 2012. "Does Team Telecommuting Affect Productivity? An Experiment," MPRA Paper 41594, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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