Gender and Choice over Co-workers: Experimental Evidence

77 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2021 Last revised: 23 Mar 2022

See all articles by Shan Aman-Rana

Shan Aman-Rana

Department of Economics, University of Virginia

Clement Minaudier

Department of Economics, University of Vienna

Brais Alvarez Pereira

Nova School of Business and Economics

Shamyla Chaudry

Lahore School of Economics - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 17, 2022

Abstract

We study whether choice over co-workers matters for performance in gender-diverse teams. We carried out a lab-in-the-field experiment where students were randomly assigned co-workers to help them perform on tests. Co-worker allocation was randomized on two dimensions: (1) gender and (2) student preference for that co-worker at baseline. We find that assigning a randomly-chosen male co-worker reduces the performance of female students (12% of the average score) relative to working alone, while a preferred male co-worker has a positive yet statistically insignificant effect on performance (6% of the average score). The effects are heterogeneous across the gender stereotype of the questions and materialize even though the two types of male co-workers have the same average ability. Our results show that choice matters for the performance of male students too, but only in gender stereotypical categories. We also find that female students were significantly less likely to access additional information in the presence of randomly-chosen male co-workers whereas male students were more likely to access it. This suggests that the mechanisms affecting collaboration are different for men and women.

Keywords: Gender, diversity, teams, choice, performance, stereotype, information, communication, advising, help in organizations

JEL Classification: J1, J15, J16, M50, O15

Suggested Citation

Aman-Rana, Shan and Minaudier, Clement and Alvarez Pereira, Brais and Chaudry, Shamyla, Gender and Choice over Co-workers: Experimental Evidence (March 17, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3958386 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3958386

Shan Aman-Rana (Contact Author)

Department of Economics, University of Virginia ( email )

237 Monroe Hall
P.O. Box 400182
Charlottesville, VA 22904-418
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://economics.virginia.edu/people/profile/sa8ey

Clement Minaudier

Department of Economics, University of Vienna ( email )

Bruenner Strasse 72
Vienna, Vienna 1090
Austria

Brais Alvarez Pereira

Nova School of Business and Economics ( email )

Campus de Carcavelos
Rua da Holanda, 1
Carcavelos, 2775-405
Portugal

Shamyla Chaudry

Lahore School of Economics - Department of Economics ( email )

Intersection Main Boulevard
Phase VI DHA and Burki Road
Burki, Lahore 53200
Pakistan

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