Challenge-seeking and the gender wage gap: A lab-in-the-field experiment with cleaning personnel
Frauke von Bieberstein,
Stefanie Jaussi and
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2020, vol. 175, issue C, 251-277
The present research examines gender differences in challenge-seeking behavior in different work environments. We address the bottom end of the job spectrum with typical low-skill entry-level jobs, where the willingness to embrace new challenges is an important driver for professional advancement. The experimental results are based on a lab-in-the-field experiment with workers from a Swiss commercial cleaning company. Women are 43 percentage points less likely than men to accept a high-paying challenge in the control treatment with two levels of difficulty. In a slightly re-framed decision environment that offers a third, even more extreme, challenge to choose, female challenge-seeking increases by nearly 80%, while men’s challenge-seeking remains at very high levels. This significantly reduces the gender wage gap in our setting. We discuss anchoring and the compromise effect as potential reasons for our result. This study contributes to the present debate on affirmative action, and suggests that minimally invasive interventions, like the presentation of challenges, may be a fruitful option to promote the success of women in the workplace.
Keywords: Gender wage gap; Challenge-seeking; Context sensitivity; Lab-in-the-field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J16 J70 M14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:175:y:2020:i:c:p:251-277
Access Statistics for this article
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.
More articles in Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Haili He ().