Field experiment, Gender gap, Leadership, Competition, Competition aversion
Women's underrepresentation in leadership positions has been well documented, but the reasons behind it are not well understood. We carry out a field experiment to test a prominent theory about the source of the gender gap in leadership ambition: women's higher aversion to competitive environments. Using politics as a context for our study, we employ two distinct subject pools – highly politically active individuals and workers from an online labor market. We find that priming individuals to consider the competitive nature of politics has a strong negative effect on women's interest in political office, but not on men's interest, hence significantly increasing the gender gap in leadership ambition.
Original Publication Citation
Why women dont run: Experimental evidence on gender differences in competition aversion” (withJessica Preece).Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 117: 296-308, 2015.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Preece, Jessica and Stoddard, Olga B., "Why women don’t run: Experimental evidence on gender differences in political competition aversion" (2015). Faculty Publications. 5802.
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