Muriel Niederle (Professor of Economics, Stanford) will deliver a talk titled, "A Gender Agenda: From the Lab to the Field to Policy." See abstract below.
Abstract: To help understand gender differences in education and labor market outcomes we study a new behavioral trait: Competitiveness. We show how to measure this trait, that we robustly find large gender differences, and that other behavioral traits such as risk aversion and confidence cannot account for gender gaps in competitiveness. We then show the external relevance of the trait. Competitiveness predicts education choices in a sample of Dutch high school students. Furthermore, in a representative sample, competitiveness correlates with education choices, income, and job description. Finally, we turn to policy implications: we study how some institutions reward competitiveness and as such, probably unintentionally, generate gender differences. Finally, we revisit policies geared towards gender, such as affirmative action. In closing, this work is an example of how behavioral and experimental economics can help uncover new traits and, in combination with field data, show the importance of this trait, and finally makes us rethink institutional choices and policies.