Counterintuitive Research Result of the Day
| Peter Klein |
According to the current issue of Managerial and Decision Economics, women free ride more than men:
An Experimental Test of Behavior under Team Production
Donald Vandegrift and Abdullah Yavas
This study reports experiments that examine behavior under team production and a piece rate. In the experiments, participants complete a forecasting task and are rewarded based on the accuracy of their forecasts. In the piece-rate condition, participants are paid based on their own performance, whereas the team-production condition rewards participants based on the average performance of the team. Overall, there is no statistically significant difference in performance between the conditions. However, this result masks important differences in the behavior of men and women across the conditions. Men in the team-production condition increase their performance relative to men in the piece-rate condition. However, this gap in male performances across conditions diminishes over the course of the experiment. In contrast, women in the team-production condition show significantly lower performance than the women in the piece rate. As a consequence of these differences, men in the team-production condition show significantly better performance than women in the team-production condition. We also find evidence that men show stronger performance when they are in teams with a larger variation in skill level.
I’m trying to derive implications for firm performance in light of Alchian and Demsetz (1972). But come on, give me the Go-Gos or Bangles over Backstreet Boys or Jonas Brothers any day.