Gender Biases in Performance Evaluation: The Role of Beliefs versus Outcomes
55 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2021 Last revised: 26 May 2023
Date Written: May 8, 2023
We investigate whether different criteria are used in evaluating male and female leaders when outcomes are determined by unobservable choices and luck. Evaluators form beliefs about leaders’ choices and make discretionary payments. We find that while payments to male leaders are determined by both outcomes and evaluators’ beliefs, those to female leaders are determined by outcomes only. We label this new source of gender bias as the gender criteria gap. Our findings imply that high outcomes are necessary for women to get bonuses, but men can receive bonuses for low outcomes as long as evaluators hold them in high regard.
Keywords: Gender gaps, Performance evaluation, Biases in belief updating, Outcome bias, Social preferences, Laboratory experiments
JEL Classification: C92, D91, J71
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation