Option to cooperate increases women's competitiveness and closes the gender gap
AffiliationUniversity of Arizona, Center for the Philosophy of Freedom
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CitationCassar, A., & Rigdon, M. L. (2021). Option to cooperate increases women’s competitiveness and closes the gender gap. Evolution and Human Behavior.
JournalEvolution and Human Behavior
Rights© 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractWe advance the hypothesis that women are as competitive as men once the incentive for winning includes factors that matter to women. Allowing winners an opportunity to share some of their winnings with the low performers has gendered consequences for competitive behavior. We ground our work in an evolutionary framework in which winning competitions brings asymmetric benefits and costs to men and women. In the new environment, the potential to share some of the rewards from competition with others may afford women the benefit of reaping competitive gains without incurring some of its potential costs. An experiment (N = 438 in an online convenience sample of U.S. adults) supports our hypothesis: a 26% gender gap in performance vanishes once a sharing option is included to an otherwise identical winner-take-all incentive scheme. Besides providing a novel experiment that challenges the paradigm that women are not as motivated to compete as men, our work proposes some suggestions for policy: including socially-oriented rewards to contracts may offer a novel tool to close the persistent labor market gender gap. © 2021 Elsevier Inc.
Note12 month embargo; available online 20 June 2021
VersionFinal accepted manuscript