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Do Women Prefer a Co-operative Work Environment?

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Author Info

  • Kuhn, Peter J.

    ()
    (University of California, Santa Barbara)

  • Villeval, Marie Claire

    ()
    (CNRS, GATE)

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 explain 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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5999.

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Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5999

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

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References

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  1. Uri Gneezy & Kenneth Leonard & John List, 2009. "Gender differences in competition: Evidence from a matrilineal and a patriarchal society," Artefactual Field Experiments 00049, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. 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
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Friesen, Lana & Gangadharan, Lata, 2012. "Individual level evidence of dishonesty and the gender effect," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 624-626.
  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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