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Do women respond less to performance pay? Building evidence from multiple experiments


  • Bandiera, Oriana
  • Fischer, Greg
  • Prat, Andrea
  • Ytsma, Erina


Performance pay increases productivity but also earnings inequality. Can it widen the gender gap because women are less responsive? We provide answers by aggregating evidence from existing experiments on performance pay that have both male and female subjects, regardless of whether they test for gender differences. We develop a Bayesian hierarchical model (BHM) that allows us to estimate both the average effect and the heterogeneity across studies. We find that the gender response difference is close to zero and heterogeneity across studies is small. We also find that the average effect of performance pay is positive, increasing output by 0.28 standard deviations. The data are thus strongly supportive of agency theory for men and women alike.

Suggested Citation

  • Bandiera, Oriana & Fischer, Greg & Prat, Andrea & Ytsma, Erina, 2016. "Do women respond less to performance pay? Building evidence from multiple experiments," CEPR Discussion Papers 11724, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11724

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Beugnot, Julie & Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2017. "Gender and Peer Effects in Social Networks," IZA Discussion Papers 10588, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Julie Beugnot & Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix & Marie Claire Villeval, 2017. "Gender and Peer Effects on Performance in Social Networks," Working Papers 1711, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    3. Julie Beugnot & Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2017. "Gender and Peer Effects in Social Networks," Working Papers 2017-03, CRESE.

    More about this item


    econometrics; Gender; meta-analysis; wage differentials;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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