IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/upf/upfgen/1225.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The impact of gender composition on team performance and decision-making: Evidence from the field

Author

Abstract

We investigate whether the gender composition of teams affect their economic performance. We study a large business game, played in groups of three, where each group takes the role of a general manager. There are two parallel competitions, one involving undergraduates and the other involving MBAs. Our analysis shows that teams formed by three women are significantly outperformed by any other gender combination, both at the undergraduate and MBA levels. Looking across the performance distribution, we find that for undergraduates, three women teams are outperformed throughout, but by as much as 10pp at the bottom and by only 1pp at the top. For MBAs, at the top, the best performing group is two men and one woman. The differences in performance are explained by differences in decision-making. We observe that three women teams are less aggressive in their pricing strategies, invest less in R&D, and invest more in social sustainability initiatives, than any other gender combination teams. Finally, we find support for the hypothesis that it is poor work dynamics among the three women teams that drives the results.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose Apesteguia & Ghazala Azmat & Nagore Iriberri, 2010. "The impact of gender composition on team performance and decision-making: Evidence from the field," Economics Working Papers 1225, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1225
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://econ-papers.upf.edu/papers/1225.pdf
    File Function: Whole Paper
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Charness, Gary & Jackson, Matthew O., 2007. "Group play in games and the role of consent in network formation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 417-445, September.
    2. James Andreoni & Lise Vesterlund, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 116(1), pages 293-312.
    3. Josse Delfgaauw & Robert Dur & Joeri Sol & Willem Verbeke, 2013. "Tournament Incentives in the Field: Gender Differences in the Workplace," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 305-326.
    4. Marianne Bertrand & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "The Gender Gap in Top Corporate Jobs," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 3-21, October.
    5. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Gender and Competition at a Young Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 377-381, May.
    6. Farrell, Kathleen A. & Hersch, Philip L., 2005. "Additions to corporate boards: the effect of gender," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-2), pages 85-106, March.
    7. Alan Manning & Joanna Swaffield, 2008. "The gender gap in early-career wage growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 983-1024, July.
    8. Andrew Healy & Jennifer Pate, 2011. "Can Teams Help to Close the Gender Competition Gap?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(555), pages 1192-1204, September.
    9. Houser, Daniel & Schunk, Daniel, 2009. "Social environments with competitive pressure: Gender effects in the decisions of German schoolchildren," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 634-641, August.
    10. Charness, Gary B & Gneezy, Uri, 2007. "Strong Evidence for Gender Differences in Investment," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt428481s8, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    11. Natalia Zinovyeva & Manuel F. Bagues, 2010. "Does gender matter for academic promotion? Evidence from a randomized natural experiment," Working Papers 2010-15, FEDEA.
    12. Nancy Buchan & Rachel Croson, 1999. "Gender and Culture: International Experimental Evidence from Trust Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 386-391, May.
    13. Manuel F. Bagues & Berta Esteve-Volart, 2010. "Can Gender Parity Break the Glass Ceiling? Evidence from a Repeated Randomized Experiment," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 77(4), pages 1301-1328.
    14. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074.
    15. Marianne Bertrand & Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2010. "Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Financial and Corporate Sectors," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 228-255, July.
    16. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 1998. "Are Women Less Selfish Than Men? Evidence from Dictator Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 726-735, May.
    17. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
    18. World Bank, 2008. "World Development Indicators 2008," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 11855, December.
    19. Adams, Renée B. & Ferreira, Daniel, 2009. "Women in the boardroom and their impact on governance and performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 291-309, November.
    20. Gary Charness & Luca Rigotti & Aldo Rustichini, 2007. "Individual Behavior and Group Membership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1340-1352, September.
    21. Bolton, Gary E. & Katok, Elena, 1995. "An experimental test for gender differences in beneficent behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(3-4), pages 287-292, June.
    22. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
    23. David A. Carter & Betty J. Simkins & W. Gary Simpson, 2003. "Corporate Governance, Board Diversity, and Firm Value," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 38(1), pages 33-53, February.
    24. Grant Miller, 2008. "Women's Suffrage, Political Responsiveness, and Child Survival in American History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 123(3), pages 1287-1327.
    25. Dufwenberg, Martin & Muren, Astri, 2006. "Gender composition in teams," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 50-54, September.
    26. World Bank, 2008. "World Development Indicators 2008," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 28241, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Azmat, Ghazala & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2014. "Gender and the labor market: What have we learned from field and lab experiments?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 32-40.
    2. Stefano Gagliarducci & M. Daniele Paserman, 2012. "Gender Interactions within Hierarchies: Evidence from the Political Arena," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 79(3), pages 1021-1052.
    3. Azmat, Ghazala & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2014. "Gender and the labor market: What have we learned from field and lab experiments?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 32-40.
    4. Becchetti, Leonardo & Degli Antoni, Giacomo & Ottone, Stefania & Solferino, Nazaria, 2013. "Allocation criteria under task performance: The gendered preference for protection," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 96-111.
    5. Peter Kuhn & Marie Claire Villeval, 2015. "Are Women More Attracted to Co‐operation Than Men?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(582), pages 115-140, February.
    6. Philip J. Grossman & Mana Komai & James E. Jensen, 2015. "Leadership and gender in groups: An experiment," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 48(1), pages 368-388, February.
    7. Anya Samek, 2019. "Gender Differences in Job Entry Decisions: A University-Wide Field Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(7), pages 3272-3281, July.
    8. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
    9. Marie-Pierre Dargnies, 2012. "Men Too Sometimes Shy Away from Competition: The Case of Team Competition," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(11), pages 1982-2000, November.
    10. Bertrand, Marianne, 2011. "New Perspectives on Gender," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 17, pages 1543-1590, Elsevier.
    11. De Paola, Maria & Gioia, Francesca & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2015. "Are females scared of competing with males? Results from a field experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 117-128.
    12. Dato, Simon & Nieken, Petra, 2014. "Gender differences in competition and sabotage," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 64-80.
    13. Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta & Kübler, Dorothea, 2011. "Gender differences in team work and team competition," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 797-808.
    14. Bernd Frick & Clarissa Laura Maria Spiess Bru & Daniel Kaimann, 2023. "Are Women (Really) More Lenient? Gender Differences in Expert Evaluations," Working Papers Dissertations 106, Paderborn University, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
    15. García-Gallego, Aurora & Georgantzís, Nikolaos & Jaramillo-Gutiérrez, Ainhoa, 2012. "Gender differences in ultimatum games: Despite rather than due to risk attitudes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 42-49.
    16. Beaurain, Guillaume & Masclet, David, 2016. "Does affirmative action reduce gender discrimination and enhance efficiency? New experimental evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 350-362.
    17. David Newton & Mikhail Simutin, 2015. "Of Age, Sex, and Money: Insights from Corporate Officer Compensation on the Wage Inequality Between Genders," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(10), pages 2355-2375, October.
    18. Ainoa Aparicio Fenoll & Sarah Zaccagni, 2021. "Gender Mix and Team Performance: Differences between Exogenously and Endogenously Formed Teams," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 646, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    19. Booth, Alison L., 2009. "Gender and competition," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 599-606, December.
    20. Aparicio Fenoll, Ainoa & Zaccagni, Sarah, 2022. "Gender mix and team performance: Differences between exogenously and endogenously formed teams," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender; Teams; Performance; Decision-Making. leex;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:upf:upfgen:1225. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.econ.upf.edu/ .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.