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Do Women Prefer a Co-operative Work Environment?

Peter Kuhn () and Marie Claire Villeval ()

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Abstract: Are women disproportionately attracted to work environments where cooperation rather than competition is rewarded? This paper reports the results of a real-effort experiment in which participants choose between an individual compensation scheme and a team-based payment scheme. We find that women are more likely than men to select team-based compensation in our baseline treatment, but women and men join teams with equal frequency when we add an efficiency advantage to team production. Using a simple structural discrete choice framework to reconcile these facts, we show that three elements can account for the observed patterns in the team-entry gender gap: (1) a gender gap in confidence in others (i.e. women are less pessimistic about their prospective teammates' relative ability), (2) a greater responsiveness among men to instrumental reasons for joining teams, and (3) a greater "pure" preference for working in a team environment among women.

Keywords: Gender; cooperation; self-selection; confidence; experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-evo, nep-exp, nep-hrm, nep-lab, nep-lma and nep-soc
Date: 2011
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00633646
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Published in Working paper GATE 2011-27 ; IZA Discussion paper 5999 ; NBER Working paper 19277. 2011

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