Publications

2012
Bohnet, Iris, and Farzad Saidi. “Informational Differences and Performance: Experimental Evidence”. (2012). Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This paper provides experimental evidence on how informational differences may translate into performance differences in competitive environments. In a laboratory tournament setting, we manipulate beliefs about the effort-reward relationship by varying how much information people receive on the potential impact of luck on outcomes. We find that an informational disadvantage worsens the understanding of the effort-reward relationship, and significantly lowers performance. Our study is inspired by informational differences in the labor market where some individuals have less data on the determinants of economic success than others due to social networks or the availability of similar others to learn from.

informational_differences_and_performance.pdf
Beaman, Lori A, et al.Female Leadership Raises Aspirations and Educational Attainment for Girls: A Policy Experiment in India”. Science 335.6068 (2012): , 335, 6068, 582-586. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Exploiting a randomized natural experiment in India, we show that female leadership influences adolescent girls’ career aspirations and educational attainment. A 1993 law reserved leadership positions for women in randomly selected village councils. Using 8453 surveys of adolescents aged 11 to 15 and their parents in 495 villages, we found that, relative to villages in which such positions were never reserved, the gender gap in aspirations closed by 20% in parents and 32% in adolescents in villages assigned a female leader for two election cycles. The gender gap in adolescent educational attainment was erased, and girls spent less time on household chores. We found no evidence of changes in young women’s labor market opportunities, which suggests that the impact of women leaders primarily reflects a role model effect.

Available on the Gender Action Portal:

female_leadership.pdf
Bowles, Hannah Riley. “Claiming Authority: How Women Explain their Ascent to Top Business Leadership Positions”. (2012). Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Career stories of 50 female executives from major corporations and high-growth entrepreneurial ventures suggest two alternative accounts of how women legitimize their claims to top leadership positions: navigating and pioneering. In navigating accounts, the women legitimized their claims to top authority positions by following well institutionalized paths of career advancement (e.g., high performance in line jobs) and self-advocating with the gatekeepers of the social hierarchy (e.g., bosses, investors). In pioneering accounts, the women articulated a strategic vision and cultivated a community of support and followership around their strategic ideas and leadership. The career stories suggested that, when the women’s authority claims were not validated, they engaged in narrative identity work to revise their aspirations and legitimization strategies. Sometimes narrative identity work motivated women to shift from one type of account to another, particularly from navigating to pioneering. Based on inductive analyses of these 50 career stories, I propose a process model of how women legitimize their claims to top leadership positions by recursively resetting career accounts as authority claims succeed or fail.

claiming_authority.pdf
2011
Eichler, Maya. Militarizing Men: Gender, Conscription, and War in Post-Soviet Russia. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2011. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

A state's ability to maintain mandatory conscription and wage war rests on the idea that a "real man" is one who has served in the military. Yet masculinity has no inherent ties to militarism. The link between men and the military, argues Maya Eichler, must be produced and reproduced in order to fill the ranks, engage in combat, and mobilize the population behind war.

In the context of Russia's post-communist transition and the Chechen wars, men's militarization has been challenged and reinforced. Eichler uncovers the challenges by exploring widespread draft evasion and desertion, anti-drat and anti-war activism led by soldier's mothers, and the general lack of popular support for the Chechen wars. However, the book also identifies channels through which militarized gender identities have been reproduced. Eichler's empirical and theoretical study of masculinities in international relations applies for the first time the concept of "militarized masculinity," developed by feminist IR scholars, to the case of Russia.

Pande, Rohini, and Deanna Ford. Gender Quotas and Female Leadership: A Review. World Development Report on Gender, 2011. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Gender Quotas and Female Leadership: A Review

gender_quotas.pdf
2010
Ganguli, Ina, Ricardo Hausmann, and Martina Viarengo. “Schooling Can’t Buy Me Love: Marriage, Work, and the Gender Education Gap in Latin America”. CID Working Paper (2010). Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In this paper we establish six stylized facts related to marriage and work in Latin America and present a simple model to account for them. First, skilled women are less likely to be married than unskilled women. Second, skilled women are less likely to be married than skilled men. Third, married skilled men are more likely to work than unmarried skilled men, but married skilled women are less likely to work than unmarried skilled women. Fourth, Latin American women are much more likely to marry a less skilled husband compared to women in other regions of the world. Five, when a skilled Latin American woman marries down, she is more likely to work than if she marries a more or equally educated man. Six, when a woman marries down, she tends to marry the “better” men in that these are men that earn higher wages than those explained by the other observable characteristics. We present a simple game theoretic model that explains these facts with a single assumption: Latin American men, but not women, assign a greater value to having a stay-home wife.

schooling_cant.pdf
Ashraf, Nava, Dean Karlan, and Wesley Yin. “Female Empowerment: Impact of a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines”. World Development 38.3 (2010): , 38, 3, 33–344. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Female “empowerment” has increasingly become a policy goal, both as an end to itself and as a means to achieving other development goals. Microfinance in particular has often been argued, but not without controversy, to be a tool for empowering women. Here, using a randomized controlled trial, we examine whether access to and marketing of an individually held commitment savings product lead to an increase in female decision-making power within the household. We find positive impacts, particularly for women who have below median decision-making power in the baseline, and we find this leads to a shift toward female-oriented durables goods purchased in the household.

femaleempowerment_worlddev.pdf
Field, Erica M, Seema Jayachandran, and Rohini Pande. “Do Traditional Institutions Constrain Female Entrepreneurship? A Field Experiment on Business Training in India”. American Economic Review. 100.2 (2010): , 100, 2, 125-29. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract entrepreneur.pdf
Bohnet, Iris, Benedikt Herrmann, and Richard Zeckhauser. “Trust and the Reference Points for Trustworthiness in Gulf and Western Countries”. Quarterly Journal of Economics 125.2 (2010): , 125, 2, 811-828. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Why is private investment so low in Gulf compared to Western countries? We investigate cross-regional differences in trust and reference points for trustworthiness as possible factors. Experiments controlling for cross-regional differences in institutions and beliefs about trustworthiness reveal that Gulf citizens pay much more than Westerners to avoid trusting, and hardly respond when returns to trusting change. These differences can be explained by subjects' gain/loss utility relative to their region's reference point for trustworthiness. The relation-based production of trust in the Gulf induces higher levels of trustworthiness, albeit within groups, than the rule-based interactions prevalent in the West.

trust_and_the_reference_points.pdf
2009
Nosek, Brian, et al.National differences in gender–science stereotypes predict national sex differences in science and math achievement”. PNAS 106.26 (2009): , 106, 26, 10593–10597. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

About 70% of more than half a million Implicit Association Tests completed by citizens of 34 countries revealed expected implicit stereotypes associating science with males more than with females. We discovered that nation-level implicit stereotypes predicted nation-level sex differences in 8th-grade science and mathematics achievement. Self-reported stereotypes did not provide additional predictive validity of the achievement gap. We suggest that implicit stereotypes and sex differences in science participation and performance are mutually reinforcing, contributing to the persistent gender gap in science engagement.

national_differences.pdf
Beaman, Lori, et al.Can Political Affirmative Action for Women Reduce Gender Bias?”. Vox 2009. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract
political_affirmative_vox.pdf
Ashraf, Nava. “Spousal Control and Intra-Household Decision Making: An Experimental Study in the Philippines”. American Economic Review 99.4 (2009): , 99, 4, 1245-77. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

I elicit causal effects of spousal observability and communication on financial choices of married individuals in the Philippines. When choices are private, men put money into their personal accounts. When choices are observable, men commit money to consumption for their own benefit. When required to communicate, men put money into their wives' account. These strong treatment effects on men, but not women, appear related more to control than to gender: men whose wives control household savings respond more strongly to the treatment and women whose husbands control savings exhibit the same response. Changes in information and communication interact with underlying control to produce mutable gender-specific outcomes.

spousal_control.pdf
Greig, Fiona, and Iris Bohnet. “Exploring gendered behavior in the field with experiments: Why public goods are provided by women in a Nairobi slum.”. Exploring gendered behavior in the field with experiments: Why public goods are provided by women in a Nairobi slum. 70.1-2 (2009): , 70, 1-2, 1-9. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Women, and particularly women in all-female groups, appear to be especially adept at providing public goods in developing countries. We use a one-shot Public Goods game to explore the effect of sex and a group's sex composition on the voluntary provision of public goods in a Nairobi slum. Sex heterogeneity hurts the voluntary provision of public goods because women—but not men—contribute less in mixed-sex than same-sex groups. Women contribute as much as men in same-sex groups. This result is driven by women's pessimism and men's optimism about others’ contributions in mixed-sex groups rather than by gendered social preferences.

1-s2.0-s016726810900002x-main.pdf
Beaman, Lori A, et al.Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?”. Quarterly Journal of Economics 124.4 (2009): , 124, 4, 1497-1540. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We exploit random assignment of gender quotas for leadership positions on Indian village councils to show that prior exposure to a female leader is associated with electoral gains for women. After ten years of quotas, women are more likely to stand for, and win, elected positions in councils required to have a female chief councilor in the previous two elections. We provide experimental and survey evidence on one channel of influence—changes in voter attitudes. Prior exposure to a female chief councilor improves perceptions of female leader effectiveness and weakens stereotypes about gender roles in the public and domestic spheres.

Available on the Gender Action Portal:

powerfulwomen_finaljune08.pdf
2008
Brescoll, Victoria L, and Eric Luis Uhlmann. “Can an Angry Woman Get Ahead? Status Conferral, Gender, and Expression of Emotion in the Workplace.”. Psychological Science 19.3 (2008): , 19, 3, 268-275. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Three studies examined the relationships among anger, gender, and status conferral. As in prior research, men who expressed anger in a professional context were conferred higher status than men who expressed sadness. However, both male and female evaluators conferred lower status on angry female professionals than on angry male professionals. This was the case regardless of the actual occupational rank of the target, such that both a female trainee and a female CEO were given lower status if they expressed anger than if they did not. Whereas women's emotional reactions were attributed to internal characteristics (e.g., “she is an angry person,” “she is out of control”), men's emotional reactions were attributed to external circumstances. Providing an external attribution for the target person's anger eliminated the gender bias. Theoretical implications and practical applications are discussed.

emotion_workpalce.pdf
Field, Erica, and Rohini Pande. “Repayment Frequency and Default in Micro-Finance: Evidence from India”. Journal of European Economic Association Papers and Proceedings 6 .(2-3) (2008): , 6 , (2-3), 501-550. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In stark contrast to bank debt contracts, most micro-finance contracts require that repayments start nearly immediately after loan disbursement and occur weekly thereafter. Even though economic theory suggests that a more flexible repayment schedule would benefit clients and potentially improve their repayment capacity, micro-finance practitioners argue that the fiscal discipline imposed by frequent repayment is critical to preventing loan default. In this paper we use data from a field experiment which randomized client assignment to a weekly or monthly repayment schedule and find no significant effect of type of repayment schedule on client delinquency or default. Our findings suggest that, among micro-finance clients who are willing to borrow at either weekly or monthly repayment schedules, a more flexible schedule can significantly lower transaction costs without increasing client default. (JEL: O12, O16, O22)

repayment_freq.pdf
Bowles, Hannah Riley, and Kathleen McGinn. “Chapter 2: Untapped Potential in the Study of Negotiation and Gender Inequality in Organizations”. The Academy of Management Annals. 1st ed. Routledge, 2008. 99-132. Web. Publisher's Version untapped_potential.pdf
Mansbridge, Jane, and Shauna L Shames. “Toward a Theory of Backlash: Dynamic Resistance and the Central Role of Power”. Politics & Gender 44 (2008): , 4, 4, 623-634. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

To understand backlash theoretically, we must first carve out an analytically useful term from the cluster of its common political associations. In colloquial usage, “backlash” denotes politically conservative reactions to progressive (or liberal) social or political change (Faludi 1991 is a classic in this vein). Here, however, we attempt a nonideological definition of backlash embedded in a more neutral approach to its study. In colloquial usage, backlash includes acts of genuine persuasion as well as of power. Here, however, we suggest that it may be analytically helpful to confine its meaning to acts of coercive power. We draw on the sociological literature on social movements and countermovements, as well as the political science literature on power, preferences, and interests. We focus mostly on examples drawn from the United States and relating to feminism and gender. We begin where the process of backlash itself begins, with power and a challenge to the status quo.

theory_of_backlash.pdf
2007
Hunt, Swanee. “Women's Vital Voices: The Costs of Exclusion in Eastern Europe”. Foreign Affairs 86.3 (2007): , 86, 3, 109-120. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The advent of democracy in the former community states of Europe brings both much promise and, as we are learning much peril. For millions, the complexion of life has evolved from red to rose-colored to raw. A monolithic nemesis has been replaced by a perplexing variety of threats to stability in this fragile region, with expressions of democracy frequently drowned out by the noises of intolerance and repression.

women's_voices.pdf
Baker, Laurence C, et al.Differences in neonatal mortality among whites and Asian American subgroups: evidence from California”. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine 161.1 (2007): , 161, 1, 69-76. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

OBJECTIVE:

To obtain information about health outcomes in neonates in 9 subgroups of the Asian population in the United States.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional comparison of outcomes for births to mothers of Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Thai, and Vietnamese origin and for births to non-Hispanic white mothers. Regression models were used to compare neonatal mortality across groups before and after controlling for various risk factors.

SETTING:

All California births between January 1,1991, and December 31, 2001.

PARTICIPANTS:

More than 2.3 million newborn infants.

MAIN EXPOSURE:

Racial and ethnic groups.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Neonatal mortality (death within 28 days of birth).

RESULTS:

The unadjusted mortality rate for births to non-Hispanic white mothers was 2.0 per 1000. The unadjusted mortality rate for births to Chinese and Japanese mothers was significantly lower (Chinese: 1.2 per 1000, P<.001; Japanese: 1.2 per 1000, P=.004), and for births to Korean mothers the rate was significantly higher (2.7 per 1000, P=.003). For infants of Chinese mothers, observed risk factors explain the differences observed in unadjusted data. For infants of Cambodian, Japanese, Korean, and Thai mothers, differences persist or widen after risk factors are considered. After risk adjustment, infants of Cambodian, Japanese, and Korean mothers have significantly lower neonatal mortality rates compared with infants born to non-Hispanic white mothers (adjusted odds ratios, 0.58 for infants of Cambodian mothers, 0.67 for infants of Japanese mothers, and 0.69 for infants of Korean mothers; all P<.05); infants of Thai mothers have higher neonatal mortality rates (adjusted odds ratio, 1.89; P<.05).


CONCLUSIONS:

There are significant variations in neonatal mortality between subgroups of the Asian American population that are not entirely explained by differences in observable risk factors. Efforts to improve clinical care that treat Asian Americans as a homogeneous group may miss important opportunities for improving infant health in specific subgroups

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