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The Effectiveness of Committee Quotas; The Role of Group Dynamics

José Javier Domínguez

No 21/12, ThE Papers from Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada.

Abstract: Committee quotas have been introduced during the last years for combatting the underrepresentation of women in male-stereotyped environments. However, the unclear effect of evaluators’ gender and the gender differences in group dynamics in mixed-gender committees question the effectiveness of the policy. I provide experimental evidence in both directions; a) how the gender composition of the committees affects the probability of female candidates of being recruited in a hiring process, and b) how men and women behave in group dynamics as a mechanism explaining the outcome of the policy. I designed a laboratory experiment in which groups of three subjects have to jointly select two candidates in a pool of six to perform a task. The probability of success of female candidates does not improve as the number of women in the committee increases. I found that malemajority committees were the most beneficial for female candidates. In these groups, men and women exhibited a similar level of voice and influence during deliberations, proposing male and female candidates for recruitment. Female-majority groups were, in contrast, the most detrimental for female candidates. Women in female-majority groups presented a higher level of voice but men, who proposed only male candidates as a modal proposal, were more influential, what limited the contribution of women. The paper suggests that more women in the committee do not necessarily benefit female candidates and examines some reasons that question the effectiveness of this policy.

Keywords: Committee Quotas; Gender Gap; Group Dynamics; Laboratory Experiment. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C92 D03 J71 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 42 pages
Date: 2021-11-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-exp, nep-gen and nep-lma
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