Sexism, Statements, and Audits
37 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2014 Last revised: 13 Sep 2016
Date Written: September 12, 2016
Within the context of auditor and issuer interaction, we examine the relationship between sexist stereotypes and sexual discrimination using laboratory experiments. Examining archival data, researchers have hypothesized gender differences in financial misstatement and auditing based on stereotypes of cautious and ethical females. To investigate these aspects of sexism we presented males and females with incentivized belief elicitation tasks about anticipated interaction behaviors and then a series of strategic-communication game decisions in male and females interactions. Feedback about belief accuracy, actual behaviors, and earnings was only given after completing a full set of belief elicitations and interactions. Before feedback, both genders stereotyped the other gender’s behavior propensities as relatively different than their own gender’s. Both genders’ stereotyped males as more likely to misstate and engage in risky auditing than females, and while both genders discriminated based on target gender, we find no gender differences per se; males’ and females’ behavior was similar. Consistent with a statistical discrimination account of sexism, stereotypes and game behaviors were adjusted after feedback to more accurately reflect and predict others’ behaviors.
Keywords: sexism, gender, stereotype, discrimination, audit
JEL Classification: A13, D03, J14, Z1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation