How Do Gender Quotas Affect Hierarchical Relationships? Complementary Evidence from a Representative Survey and Labor Market Experiments

40 Pages Posted: 7 May 2018

See all articles by Edwina Ip

Edwina Ip

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Andreas Leibbrandt

University of Zurich - Institute for Empirical Research in Economics

Joseph Vecci

Göteborg University

Date Written: March 05, 2018

Abstract

Gender quotas are frequently proposed to address persistent gender imbalances in managerial roles. However, it is unclear how quotas for female managers affect organizations and whether quotas improve or damage relationships between managers and their subordinates. We conduct a representative survey to study opinions on quotas for female managers and based upon design a novel set of experiments to investigate how quotas influence wage setting and effort provision. Our findings reveal that both opinions about gender quotas and workplace behavior crucially depend on the workplace environment. In our survey, we observe that approval for gender quotas is low if women are not disadvantaged in the manager selection process, regardless of whether there are gender differences in performance. Complementing this evidence, we observe in our experiments that quotas lead to lower effort levels and lower wages in such environments. By contrast, in environments in which women are disadvantaged in the selection process, we observe a higher approval of quotas as well as higher effort levels and higher wages. These findings are consistent with the concept of meritocracy and suggest that it is important to evaluate the existence of gender disadvantages in the workplace environment before implementing quotas.

Keywords: gender quota, hierarchical relationships, fairness, meritocracy

JEL Classification: C920, J710, J300

Suggested Citation

Ip, Edwina and Leibbrandt, Andreas and Vecci, Joseph, How Do Gender Quotas Affect Hierarchical Relationships? Complementary Evidence from a Representative Survey and Labor Market Experiments (March 05, 2018). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6915. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3167115

Edwina Ip

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer ( email )

65 Fleet Street
London EC4Y 1HS
United Kingdom

Andreas Leibbrandt (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Institute for Empirical Research in Economics ( email )

Zuerich, 8006
Switzerland

Joseph Vecci

Göteborg University ( email )

Viktoriagatan 30
Göteborg, 405 30
Sweden

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