Selection into Leadership and Dishonest Behavior of Leaders: A Gender Experiment

37 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2020

See all articles by Kerstin Grosch

Kerstin Grosch

Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS)

Stephan Müller

University of Goettingen (Göttingen)

Holger Andreas Rau

University of Goettingen (Göttingen)

Lilia Zhurakhovska

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Duisburg-Essen

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

Leaders often have to weigh ethical against monetary consequences. We experimentally analyze such a dilemma. We measure individual honesty preferences in a payoff reporting game. Subsequently, subjects can apply for leadership and report payoffs for a group. In a control, we assign leadership randomly. Women behave less dishonestly than men when reporting for themselves. They increase dishonesty when deciding as leaders. In the control, female leaders do not increase dishonesty. We find that honesty preferences do not explain women’s selection into leadership. A follow-up reveals that women who select into leadership become dishonest when believing that group members prefer dishonesty.

Keywords: leadership, decision for others, lab experiment, gender differences, dishonesty

JEL Classification: C910, H260, J160

Suggested Citation

Grosch, Kerstin and Müller, Stephan and Rau, Holger Andreas and Zhurakhovska, Lilia, Selection into Leadership and Dishonest Behavior of Leaders: A Gender Experiment (2020). CESifo Working Paper No. 8514, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3682014

Kerstin Grosch (Contact Author)

Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) ( email )

Josefstädter Straße 39
1080 Vienna
Austria

Stephan Müller

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073
Germany

Holger Andreas Rau

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073
Germany

Lilia Zhurakhovska

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
Bonn, 53113
Germany

University of Duisburg-Essen ( email )

Lotharstrasse 1
Duisburg, 47048
Germany

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