Heterogeneous response across genders to tonal variation in messaging: Experimental evidence
Vincenzo Galasso, Tommaso Nannicini 22 September 2013
The perceived tone of a product or political advertisement affects public response – even holding constant the content of the message. This column provides evidence that men and women react differently to positive and negative tones in electoral advertisements. Negative advertising increases voter turnout among men but not women; positive advertising tends to win women’s sympathy but alienates men. This should inform gender-specific tailoring of targeted advertisements.
Persuasion is an art which is critical to success in politics, business, and a personal career. ’Persuasive communication‘ – as defined by DellaVigna and Gentzkow (2010) – is used, for example, to convince:
- Customers to purchase a new product.
- A recruiting committee to award a promotion.
- Citizens to vote for a candidate.
Most often this persuasion is exerted by individuals, firms or political parties who send competing messages to potential receivers.
gender, experimental economics, advertising, persuasive communication
The long-run gains of not mixing genders in high-school classes
Massimo Anelli, Giovanni Peri 23 February 2013
What causes fewer women than men to choose high-earning potential subjects such as engineering, economics or science at undergraduate level? This column presents new evidence from an accidental natural experiment in Italy, suggesting mixed-gender classes at the high-school level reduce the number of women pursuing these subjects. These results suggest that gender-separated classrooms are an effective way to increase women’s career opportunities and salaries.
Gender gap in college majors and earnings
Education Gender Labour markets
Italy, education, wages, gender, women, labour
What explains gender differences in India? What can be done to promote shared prosperity?
Ejaz Ghani, William Kerr, Stephen D O'Connell 22 February 2013
Although its economic development has been impressive, recent events have sparked debate about India’s gender inequality. This column argues that Indian women’s levels of entrepreneurship and participation in the labour force are some of the lowest in the world. India’s economic growth and shared prosperity depends upon successfully utilising both its male and female workforce, and improving this balance is an important step towards sharing the benefits of India’s growth. Economically and socially, gender equality should be a no-brainer for policymakers.
Despite rapid economic growth during the last two decades, gender disparities remain deep and persistent in India (e.g. Duflo 2012, World Bank 2012). The UN Gender Inequality Index ranks India below several sub-Saharan African countries, and the World Economic Forum ranks India 113 out of 135 countries in its Global Gender Gap Report (Hausmann, Tyson and Zahidi 2011).
gender, entrepreneurship, India, Business
Gender and competition
Andrew Healy 09 December 2011
At this week’s summit on the future of the euro, Angela Merkel will be one of few women in a room full of men. This column provides experimental evidence to suggest that women are often less driven by the desire to compete and have less belief in their abilities than men. The result is that even the highest ranks of power may be bereft of the most able of candidates.
Women continue to be underrepresented in the corridors of power. Despite recent gains, the numbers are striking. Fewer than 20% of national legislators are women. Just 3.2% of Fortune 500 companies currently have a female CEO. Such continuing gender disparities appear to fly in the face of the elimination of gender gaps in areas such as higher education, where we now see more women graduating from universities than men.
Frontiers of economic research Gender Politics and economics
competition, gender, Behavioural economics
Does gender matter for academic promotion? Evidence from a randomised natural experiment
Natalia Zinovyeva, Manuel F. Bagues 19 December 2010
Several countries have recently introduced gender quotas in hiring and promotion committees at universities. Evidence from promotions in the Spanish university system suggests that quotas are only effective at increasing the number of successful female applicants in promotions to top positions. This column argues that, given that sitting on committees reduces the available time for research, gender quotas should be implemented only for more senior academic positions.
Women have historically been under-represented in top academic positions. For years, this under-representation was partly the result of the smaller number of women obtaining doctorates. Currently, women account for about half of PhD graduates, but the increased presence of women at the lower rungs of the academic ladder has not translated into proportional increases in the presence of women at the top, particularly among full professors. For instance, in Spain, the presence of women among PhD graduates has grown from 36% to 49% over the last 20 years.
gender, academia, sexism
Why do women leave science and engineering?
Jennifer Hunt 22 May 2010
American women leave science and engineering at a higher frequency than men. This column suggests that the gender gap is explained by women’s relative dissatisfaction with pay and promotion opportunities. This gap is correlated with a high share of men in the industry. Remedies should therefore focus on such fields with a high share of male workers.
American policy analysts are concerned about the declining US share in world patenting and scientific publishing. Many trace to the perceived failure of the US to educate as many scientists and engineers as “competitor” countries.
One possible solution to this problem is to increase skilled immigration in science and engineering. An alternative is to increase the number of natives in science and engineering, with the under-represented groups of women and minorities as obvious targets.
Labour markets Productivity and Innovation
gender, innovation, science
Are married women less risk-averse? If so, why?
Graziella Bertocchi, Costanza Torricelli, Marianna Brunetti 13 March 2010
Does marriage make people less averse to risk? This column argues that this is the case for women, but not for men. But married women's different attitude towards risk has fallen over time as the prevalence of marriage in society has faded. For women who work, marriage makes no difference.
A growing literature has explored gender differences in making financial decisions. At the same time, there is a parallel literature on the implications of marital status. This research generally reveals a higher degree of risk aversion among women and single people. Studies such as Sundén and Surette (1998), Jianakoplos and Bernasek (1998), and Barber and Odean (2001) consider marital status and gender jointly and conclude that single women exhibit the most cautious attitude.
Financial markets Labour markets
gender, marriage, risk aversion
Do employers discriminate by gender in female-dominated occupations? Results from a field experiment
Alison Booth, Andrew Leigh 02 February 2010
Does gender-stereotyping in the workplace cut both ways? This column presents evidence from Australia suggesting that employers in occupations with more women discriminate against male applicants, perhaps preferring to conform to perceived social norms. As with discrimination against women, this raises concerns for both equity and efficiency.
Studies of gender pay and employment differentials typically focus on survey-based data. Yet equilibrium outcomes reflect both productive traits and labour market discrimination.
gender, Discrimination, equality
The gender of American academic leaders matters
Ronald G. Ehrenberg 25 January 2010
Will having more women on the board of trustees at academic institutions increase the number of women in the faculty? This column presents evidence suggesting that if a board is one-quarter women, it reaches the critical mass needed to hasten gender diversity.
Over the last 30 years, the percentage of women receiving PhDs from American universities has increased from around 25% to 45%.
Universities, gender, leaders