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Contribution Details

Type Working Paper
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title Are women less effective leaders than men? Evidence from experiments using coordination games
Organization Unit
  • Lea Heursen
  • Eva Ranehill
  • Roberto A. Weber
  • English
Institution University of Zurich
Series Name Working paper series / Department of Economics
Number 368
ISSN 1664-705X
Number of Pages 49
Date 2020
Abstract Text We study whether one reason behind female underrepresentation in leadership is that female leaders are less effective at coordinating action by followers. Two experiments using coordination games investigate whether female leaders are less successful than males in persuading followers to coordinate on efficient equilibria. Group performance hinges on higher-order beliefs about the leader’s capacity to convince followers to pursue desired actions, making beliefs that women are less effective leaders potentially self-confirming. We find no evidence that such bias impacts actual leadership performance, identifying a precisely-estimated null effect. We show that this absence of an effect is surprising given experts’ priors.
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Keywords Gender, coordination games, leadership, experiment
Additional Information Auch publiziert als CESifo Working Paper No. 8713 und Rationality & Competition Discussion Paper No. 472.