Incentives and Gender in a Multitask Setting: an Experimental Study with Real-Effort Tasks
Zahra Murad, Charitini Stavropoulou and Graham Cookson
This paper investigates the behavioural effects of competitive, social and image incentives on men’s and women’s allocation of effort in a multitask environment. Specifically, using two real-effort laboratory tasks, we investigate how competitive prizes, social value generation and public awards affect effort allocation decisions between the tasks. We find that all three types of incentives significantly focus effort allocation towards the task they are applied in, but the effect varies significantly between men and women. The highest effort distortion lies with competitive incentives, which is due to the effort allocation decision of men. Women exert similar amount of effort across the three incentive conditions, with slightly lower effort levels in the social-image incentivized tasks. Our results inform how and why genders differences may persist in competitive workplaces.