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Do Women Prefer a Co-operative Work Environment?

Author

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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Kuhn & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2011. "Do Women Prefer a Co-operative Work Environment?," Working Papers 1127, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
  • Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:1127
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dutcher, E. Glenn & Saral, Krista Jabs, 2012. "Does Team Telecommuting Affect Productivity? An Experiment," MPRA Paper 41594, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Anya Samek, 2015. "Gender Differences in Job Entry Decisions: A University-Wide Field Experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00419, The Field Experiments Website.
    3. 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.
    4. Friesen, Lana & Gangadharan, Lata, 2012. "Individual level evidence of dishonesty and the gender effect," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 624-626.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics

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