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Do Women Prefer a Co-operative Work Environment?

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.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 9:34:56 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 30, 2020 - 3:12:05 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, December 4, 2016 - 10:45:41 PM


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  • HAL Id : halshs-00633646, version 1


Peter Kuhn, Marie Claire Villeval. Do Women Prefer a Co-operative Work Environment?. 2011. ⟨halshs-00633646⟩



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