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Incentives and Gender in a Multitask Setting: an Experimental Study with Real-Effort Tasks

Author

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  • Zahra Murad

    (University of Portsmouth)

  • Charitini Stavropoulou

    (City University of London)

  • Graham Cookson

    (Surrey Business School)

Abstract

This paper investigates the behavioural effects of competitive, social and image incentives on men’s and women’s allocation of effort in a multitask environment. Specifically, using two real-effort laboratory tasks, we investigate how competitive prizes, social value generation and public awards affect effort allocation decisions between the tasks. We find that all three types of incentives significantly focus effort allocation towards the task they are applied in, but the effect varies significantly between men and women. The highest effort distortion lies with competitive incentives, which is due to the effort allocation decision of men. Women exert similar amount of effort across the three incentive conditions, with slightly lower effort levels in the social-image incentivized tasks. Our results inform how and why genders differences may persist in competitive workplaces.

Suggested Citation

  • Zahra Murad & Charitini Stavropoulou & Graham Cookson, 2018. "Incentives and Gender in a Multitask Setting: an Experimental Study with Real-Effort Tasks," Working Papers in Economics & Finance 2018-07, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth Business School, Economics and Finance Subject Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:pbs:ecofin:2018-07
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    2. Steven Jacob Bosworth & Simon Bartke, 2019. "Cross-task spillovers in workplace teams: Motivation vs. learning," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2019-15, Department of Economics, Reading University.

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    Keywords

    Incentives; Gender Differences; Multitasking; Experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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