Competing by Default: A New Way to Break the Glass Ceiling*
Nisvan Erkal (),
Lata Gangadharan and
Erte Xiao ()
No 04-18, Monash Economics Working Papers from Monash University, Department of Economics
Leadership selection in organizations often requires candidates to actively choose to participate in the competition. We conjecture that such an Opt-in mechanism may contribute to the gender gap observed in leadership positions. We design an Opt-out mechanism where the default is to compete for a leadership position and individuals can opt out of the competition. Data from our experiments show that women are more likely to compete for leadership positions under the Opt-out mechanism and this effectively reduces the gender gap in competition. When given a choice between the Opt-in and Opt-out mechanisms, individuals are equally likely to choose either one. We conclude that the Opt-out mechanism can be an effective and feasible way to break the glass ceiling.
Keywords: Glass ceiling; Gender inequality; Competition; Leadership; Defaults; Laboratory experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C92 D01 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 61 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-gen and nep-ltv
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