NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Do Competitive Work Places Deter Female Workers? A Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment on Gender Differences in Job-Entry Decisions

Jeffrey A. Flory, Andreas Leibbrandt, John A. List

NBER Working Paper No. 16546
Issued in November 2010
NBER Program(s):   LS

Recently an important line of research using laboratory experiments has provided a new potential reason for why we observe gender imbalances in labor markets: men are more competitively inclined than women. Whether, and to what extent, such preferences yield differences in naturally-occurring labor market outcomes remains an open issue. We address this question by exploring job-entry decisions in a natural field experiment where we randomized nearly 7,000 interested job-seekers into different compensation regimes. By varying the role that individual competition plays in setting the wage, we are able to explore whether competition, by itself, can cause differential job entry. The data highlight the power of the compensation regime in that women disproportionately shy away from competitive work settings. Yet, there are important factors that attenuate the gender differences, including whether the job is performed in teams, whether the job task is female-oriented, and the local labor market.

download in pdf format
   (746 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (746 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16546

Flory, Jeffrey A., Andreas Leibbrandt and John A. List, “Do Competitive Work Places Deter Female Workers? A Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment on Gender Differences in Job- Entry Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, (2014), forthcoming.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Leibbrandt and List w18511 Do Women Avoid Salary Negotiations? Evidence from a Large Scale Natural Field Experiment
Lavy w14338 Gender Differences in Market Competitiveness in a Real Workplace: Evidence from Performance-based Pay Tournaments among Teachers
Autor, Manning, and Smith w16533 The Contribution of the Minimum Wage to U.S. Wage Inequality over Three Decades: A Reassessment
Bloom, Eifert, Mahajan, McKenzie, and Roberts w16658 Does Management Matter? Evidence from India
Niederle and Vesterlund w11474 Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us