Understanding Gender Differences in Leadership
Seda Ertac and
No 11596, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers
We study the evolution of gender differences in the willingness to assume the decision-maker role in a group, which is a major component of leadership. Using data from a large-scale field experiment, we show that while there is no gender difference in the willingness to make risky decisions on behalf of a group in a sample of children, a large gap emerges in a sample of adolescents. In particular, the proportion of girls who exhibit leadership willingness drops by 39% going from childhood to adolescence. We explore the possible causes of this drop and find that a significant part of it can be explained by a dramatic decline in â€œsocial confidenceâ€ , measured by the willingness to perform a real effort task in public. We show that it is possible to capture the observed link between public performance and leadership by estimating a structural model that incorporates costs related to social concerns. These findings are important in addressing the lower propensity of females to self-select into high-level positions, which are typically subject to greater public scrutiny.
Keywords: Social confidence; Leadership; Gender; Risk taking; Experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 C93 D03 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-gen, nep-hrm and nep-soc
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Journal Article: Understanding Gender Differences in Leadership (2020)
Working Paper: Understanding Gender Differences in Leadership (2016)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11596
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