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Leadership and Gender: An Experiment

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Author Info

  • Philip J. Grossman
  • Mana Komai

    ()
    (Department of Economics, St. Cloud State University)

Abstract

We present an information based model of leadership in a setting that exhibits the familiar problems of free riding and coordination failure. Leaders have superior information about the value of the project in hand and can send a costly signal to their uninformed followers to persuade them to cooperate in the project. Followers voluntarily choose whether or not to follow the better informed leader. We provide experimental evidence that, when the leaders� gender is revealed to their followers, female subjects hesitate to lead (send a costly signal) while followers� behavior does not indicate any gender discrimination. Such behavior is not observed among the male leaders.

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File URL: http://repository.stcloudstate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1007&context=econ_wps
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Saint Cloud State University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2008-4.

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Date of creation: Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:scs:wpaper:0804

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Related research

Keywords: Leadership; Information; Gender; Free Riding; Coordination Problem;

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References

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  1. James Andreoni & Lise Vesterlund, 2001. "Which Is The Fair Sex? Gender Differences In Altruism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 293-312, February.
  2. 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.
  3. Mana Komai & Mark Stegeman & Benjamin E. Hermalin, 2007. "Leadership and Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 944-947, June.
  4. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Why free ride? : Strategies and learning in public goods experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, December.
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