ESI Brown Bag Lecture
Mary Rigdon, PhD - "Competing for Influence" (joint with Alessandra Cassar, PhD)
Abstract: Some have argued, based on both laboratory and field experiments, that women are less competitive than men and this explains, among other things, why women are under-represented in top-ranking professional positions and this in turn explains some of the wage gap. We explore the extent to which women are in fact just as competitive as men provided incentives are socially mediated. In a treatment in which the top performers earn the right to be influencers in the decision on how to split a prize between winners and losers significantly increases female performance to levels indistinguishable from males, whose performance remains unchanged. Our results indicate that women are just as competitive as men when the reward is socially mediated.