Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Men and Women Are Equally Effective Leaders

Timko, Krisztina (2017): Men and Women Are Equally Effective Leaders.

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We study gender differences in the behavior and effectiveness of randomly selected leaders in a laboratory experiment using the minimum effort coordination game. Leaders can send non‐binding numeric messages to try to convince followers to coordinate on the Pareto‐efficient equilibrium. The treatment variations consist of the gender of the leader, and whether participants know or do not know the gender of the leader in their group. We find that female leaders choose more often to send a riskier high message in the beginning of the game, which hurts their effectiveness especially if gender is not revealed. However, if gender is revealed, both male and female leaders make more careful choices, and thus we do not observe any significant gender difference in leader effectiveness.

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