Economic Opportunity

Bowles, Hannah Riley, and Linda Babcock. “How Can Women Escape the Compensation Negotiation Dilemma? Relational Accounts Are One Answer”. Psychology of Women Quarterly 37 (2013): , 37, 80-96. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Policy makers, academics, and media reports suggest that women could shrink the gender pay gap by negotiating more effectively for higher compensation. Yet women entering compensation negotiations face a dilemma: They have to weigh the benefits of negotiating against the social consequences of having negotiated. Research shows that women are penalized socially more than men for negotiating for higher pay. To address this dilemma, the authors test strategies to help women improve both their negotiation and social outcomes in compensation negotiations.

In Study 1, communicating concern for organizational relationships improved female negotiators’ social outcomes, and offering a legitimate account for compensation requests improved negotiation outcomes. However, neither strategy—alone or in combination—improved both women’s social and negotiation outcomes.

Study 2 tested two strategies devised to improve female negotiators’ social and negotiation outcomes by explaining why a compensation request is legitimate in relational terms. Results showed that, although adherence to the feminine stereotype is insufficient, using these “relational accounts” can improve women’s social and negotiation outcomes at the same time. Normative implications of conformity to gender stereotypes to reduce gender pay disparities are discussed.

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.

Jeni Klugman

Jeni Klugman

Managing Director, Georgetown Institute for Women Peace and Security
WAPPP Fellow

Jeni Klugman is a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government’s Women in Public Policy Program at Harvard University and Managing Director, Georgetown Institute for Women Peace and Security.

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Gender diversity and corporate performance. Credit Suisse: Research Institute, 2012. Print.Abstract

The impact of gender diversity on corporate leadership has been widely debated for many years. In our review of the topic, we look at the impact from a global perspective by analyzing the performance of close to 2,400 companies with and without women board members from 2005 onward.

2014 Sep 10

WAPPP Open House

12:00pm to 1:00pm


WAPPP Cason Seminar Room, Taubman 102

Please join us to learn about the Women and Public Policy Program and our work of creating and sharing knowledge that helps close gender gaps in economic opportunity, political participation, health, and education. We will discuss our initiatives, fellowship stipends, and other student opportunities. 

Lunch will be provided. 

RSVP not required. 


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.

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.

2014 Oct 02

Women, Business and the Law: Removing Restrictions to Enhance Gender Equality

11:40am to 1:00pm


WAPPP Cason Seminar Room, T-102

Sarah Iqbal, Program Manager for Women, Business and the Law, The World Bank

Men and women throughout the world want to provide for their families and ensure their children have a good start in life. Often, the chance to start a business or get a job is the surest way to accomplish this goal. But how can we be sure that women have the same opportunities as men to fulfill their economic potential? The World Bank Group's Women, Business and the Law project presents a unique dataset examining how the law can help or impede women from working and earning an income and...

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