Printer Friendly

Competitive high-ranking positions still are occupied largely by men, and women in academia remain scarce in engineering and sciences.

Competitive high-ranking positions still are occupied largely by men, and women in academia remain scarce in engineering and sciences. Suggested explanations for this fact focus mostly on discrimination and differences in abilities or preferences (in terms of work hours or field of study). Niederle and Vesterlund explore an additional factor, namely that women and men may differ in their selection into competitive environments. In a laboratory experiment, the authors examine an environment in which women and men perform equally well under both a noncompetitive piece rate and a competitive tournament scheme. Participants then are asked to choose the incentive scheme for their next performance. The authors fred that twice as many men as women choose the tournament over the piece rate. This gender gap in tournament entry cannot be explained by performance before or after the entry decision has been made. While men are more optimistic about their relative performance than women, this difference can only explain a small share of the gender gap in tournament entry. Finally, the authors show that gender differences exist even when participants simply decide how to be paid for a past performance. They use this decision as a control for non-tournament specific gender differences (such as risk aversion, feedback aversion, general overconfidence), and fred a large residual gender effect when participants select tournament compensation for a future performance.
COPYRIGHT 2005 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Conferences
Publication:NBER Reporter
Date:Jun 22, 2005
Words:224
Previous Article:Experiments provide a controlled environment in which factors can be isolated and studied more easily than in the real world, but often they are...
Next Article:Recent theoretical work has focused on the importance of reference-dependent preferences.
Topics:


Related Articles
Where Ph.D.s pay off.
Equity and the impact of the Nelson reforms: gender equity has no place in the latest restructure of higher education.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters