32 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2017 Last revised: 1 Aug 2017
Date Written: May 8, 2017
The gender composition of teams, and the way it impacts economic outcomes, has attracted increasing attention in the media and the economics literature. Nonetheless, past research has left open the question of how a group’s gender composition impacts group performance. In this paper, we propose and experimentally test one potential answer: the gender composition of a group may moderate one’s willingness to contribute ideas to the group and therefore impact the group’s overall performance. Using a controlled laboratory experiment, we randomly assign people to groups with varying gender compositions. We find that, on average, people in mixed gender groups are twice as likely to exhibit the gender stereotype effect as those in single gender groups. Further, the gender stereotype effect vanishes for males in single gender groups. Our results have important policy implications for single/mixed gender schooling, as well as gender diversity in the workplace.
Keywords: gender, group performance, willingness to contribute, gender composition, stereotype
JEL Classification: J16, C92
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Chen, Jingnan and Houser, Daniel, Gender Composition, Stereotype and the Contribution of Ideas (May 8, 2017). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 17-26. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2989049