IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Leadership and Gender: An Experiment


  • Philip J. Grossman
  • Mana Komai

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


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip J. Grossman & Mana Komai, 2008. "Leadership and Gender: An Experiment," Working Papers 2008-4, Saint Cloud State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:scs:wpaper:0804

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. James Andreoni & Lise Vesterlund, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 293-312.
    3. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074.
    4. Mana Komai & Mark Stegeman & Benjamin E. Hermalin, 2007. "Leadership and Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 944-947, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Tom Lane, 2015. "Discrimination in the laboratory: a meta-analysis," Discussion Papers 2015-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

    More about this item


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

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:scs:wpaper:0804. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (King Banaian). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.