Do Women Prefer a Co-Operative Work Environment?

Peter J. Kuhn, Marie-Claire Villeval
2011 Social Science Research Network  
Do Women Prefer a Co-operative Work Environment? * Are women disproportionately attracted to work environments where cooperation rather than competition is rewarded? This paper reports the results of a real-effort experiment in which participants choose between an individual compensation scheme and a team-based payment scheme. We find that women are more likely than men to select team-based compensation in our baseline treatment, but women and men join teams with equal frequency when we add an
more » ... ncy when we add an efficiency advantage to team production. Using a simple structural discrete choice framework to reconcile these facts, we show that three elements can explain the observed patterns in the team-entry gender gap: (1) a gender gap in confidence in others (i.e. women are less pessimistic about their prospective teammates' relative ability), (2) a greater responsiveness among men to instrumental reasons for joining teams, and (3) a greater "pure" preference for working in a team environment among women. JEL Classification: C91, J16, J24, J31, M5 for comments on an earlier version of this paper. We thank Sylvain Ferriol for programming this experiment.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.1946160 fatcat:ydvbh4m3ardlvgx5hiwq4g7kgi