Under-Achievement and the Glass Ceiling: Evidence from a TV Game Show

35 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2009

See all articles by Robin M. Hogarth

Robin M. Hogarth

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences

Natalia Karelaia

INSEAD - Decision Sciences

Carlos Andres Trujillo

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - School of Business Administration

Date Written: August 4, 2009

Abstract

We use a Colombian TV game show to test gender differences in competitive behavior where there is no opportunity for discrimination and females face no gender-specific external constraints. Each game started with six contestants who had to answer general knowledge questions in private. There were five rounds of questions and, at the end of each, one participant was eliminated. Despite equality in starting numbers, women earn less than men and exit the game at a faster rate. In particular, there are more voluntary withdrawals by women than men. We draw an analogy between the game and the process by which employees rise through the levels of a corporation. As such, we note that “glass ceilings” may result, in part, from women’s own behavior and this raises the issue of how women are socialized to behave. At the same time, our results illustrate that maintaining and promoting gender diversity at the lower/middle ranks of organizations is necessary to obtain gender diversity at the top.

Keywords: Discrimination, TV game shows, gender differences, glass ceilings

JEL Classification: C93, D03, E24

Suggested Citation

Hogarth, Robin M. and Karelaia, Natalia and Trujillo, Carlos Andres, Under-Achievement and the Glass Ceiling: Evidence from a TV Game Show (August 4, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1443739 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1443739

Robin M. Hogarth (Contact Author)

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain
34 93 542 2561 (Phone)
34 93 542 1746 (Fax)

Natalia Karelaia

INSEAD - Decision Sciences ( email )

United States

Carlos Andres Trujillo

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - School of Business Administration ( email )

Calle 21 No. 1-20 SD Building
Bogota
Colombia

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