Gender and Peer Effects in Social Networks

46 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2017

See all articles by Julie Beugnot

Julie Beugnot

Université Laval

Bernard Fortin

Université Laval - Département d'Économique; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Guy Lacroix

Université Laval - Département d'Économique; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Marie Claire Villeval

Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), CNRS; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Global Labor Organization (GLO)

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Abstract

We investigate whether peer effects at work differ by gender and whether the gender difference in peer effects – if any – depends on work organization, precisely the structure of social networks. We develop a social network model with gender heterogeneity that we test by means of a real-effort laboratory experiment. We compare sequential networks in which information on peers flows exclusively downward (from peers to the worker) and simultaneous networks where it disseminates bi-directionally along an undirected line (from peers to the worker and from the worker to peers). We identify strong gender differences in peer effects, as males' effort increases with peers' performance in both types of network, whereas females behave conditionally. While they are influenced by peers in sequential networks, females disregard their peers' performance when information flows in both directions. We reject that the difference between networks is driven by having one's performance observed by others or by the presence of peers in the same session in simultaneous networks. We interpret the gender difference in terms of perception of a higher competitiveness of the environment in simultaneous than in sequential networks because of the bi-directional flow of information.

Keywords: gender, peer effects, social networks, work effort, experiment

JEL Classification: C91, J16, J24, J31, M52

Suggested Citation

Beugnot, Julie and Fortin, Bernard and Lacroix, Guy and Villeval, Marie Claire, Gender and Peer Effects in Social Networks. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10588, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2931285

Julie Beugnot (Contact Author)

Université Laval ( email )

2214 Pavillon J-A. DeSeve
Quebec, Quebec G1K 7P4
Canada

Bernard Fortin

Université Laval - Département d'Économique ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Guy Lacroix

Université Laval - Département d'Économique ( email )

2325 Rue de l'Université
Ste-Foy, Quebec G1K 7P4 G1K 7P4
Canada
418-656-2024 (Phone)
418-656-7798 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Marie Claire Villeval

Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), CNRS ( email )

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Ecully, 69130
France
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+33 472 86 60 90 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.gate.cnrs.fr/equipe/perso/villeval/villeval.html

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Global Labor Organization (GLO) ( email )

Collogne
Germany

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