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Incentives and gender in a multi-task setting: An experimental study with real-effort tasks

Zahra Murad (), Charitini Stavropoulou and Graham Cookson

PLOS ONE, 2019, vol. 14, issue 3, 1-18

Abstract: This paper investigates the behavioural effects of competitive, social-value and social-image incentives on men’s and women’s allocation of effort in a multi-task 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.

Date: 2019
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Working Paper: Incentives and Gender in a Multitask Setting: an Experimental Study with Real-Effort Tasks (2018) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0213080

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