Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
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Department of Economics, Stockholm University Research Papers in Economics, Department of Economics, Stockholm University

No 2003:6:
Gender in Committees

Martin Dufwenberg () and Astri Muren ()

Abstract: How does a group’s gender composition influence its decisions? Economists have found women to be more generous and egalitarian than men, so one might expect groups with more women to be more generous/egalitarian. Group polarization, whereby discussions amplify preexisting attitudes (a phenomenon well-established in psychology), would enhance that effect. We report experimental evidence. Femalemajority groups are more generous/egalitarian than male-majority groups,ut female unisex groups are not the most generous/egalitarian. We discuss how these findings accord with our derived conjectures, and what can be learned regarding the influence of gender composition on committee decision-making more generally.

Keywords: gender; groups; generosity; group polarization; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: A13; C92; D63; D64; J16; (follow links to similar papers)

17 pages, June 7, 2003

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