This post has been updated on 5th February 2014
Here are two papers from my project with Marie Lalanne.
We investigate gender differences in the impact of social networks on earnings using a dataset of over 22,000 senior executives and non-executive board members of European and US firms. There is a large positive impact on executive men’s remuneration of the number of currently influential individuals they have previously worked with. The impact on executive women’s remuneration is significantly weaker: on average women gain around half the benefit that men gain from larger networks. We use a placebo technique to show that our measures reflect genuine connections and not merely unobserved characteristics.
The second paper is joint with Guido Friebel, Marie Lalanne, Bernard Richter and Peter Schwardmann:
We test two hypotheses, based on sexual selection theory, about gender differences in individual choices with respect to social interactions requiring investment (of time or economic resources). The differential selectivity hypothesis predicts that women invest less than men in an interaction with a new partner, other things equal. The differential opportunism hypothesis predicts that women’s investment in a social interaction is less responsive to information about the likely economic payoff to that investment. Both hypotheses, if true, imply important differences in the formation of social networks by women and men. Two cohorts of a total of 363 students were matched randomly over two rounds with a partner to play a trust game. In the second round of the trust game they also had the chance to invite a new partner to play. We find evidence in favor of both hypotheses. In particular, women invest less in new partners in both rounds, and invest even less in a framing treatment that reminds them of the need to reflect on the decision. They also react less elastically to their a priori beliefs about the likely returns to their investment, and to information that is revealed at the beginning of the second round about the return to the amounts sent to their previous partner.
Here are the slides from my Gruen Lecture today at the Australian National University in Canberra.
Here is my 2010 paper with Guido Friebel:“Do Women have longer Conversations? Telephone Evidence of Gendered Communication Strategies”, Journal of Economic Psychology, December 2010. doi:10.1016/j.joep.2010.12.008.