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Women in Power

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In this presenation Pamela Campa (Assistant Professor at SITE) discussed the under-representation of women in power and ongoing inequality of women in politics.

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Women in Power

  1. 1. Women in power Pamela Campa March 6, 2020
  2. 2. Women under-represented at the top of hierarchical governmental organizations
  3. 3. Women under-represented at the top of hierarchical governmental organizations Dearth of women “in power”
  4. 4. Corporate sector: US
  5. 5. Corporate sector: Europe Board members in largest listed companies
  6. 6. Corporate sector: Europe CEOs in largest listed companies
  7. 7. Corporate sector: Sweden over time Presidents of boards in largest listed companies
  8. 8. Gender Diversity Index 2019: Sweden Figure: European Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index (2019) Note:Index calculated for STOXX Europe 600
  9. 9. Dearth of women in powerful position...
  10. 10. Dearth of women in powerful position... Problem not limited to the corporate sector; similar patterns in politics, academia
  11. 11. Women in power in politics Women 15.4 % of mayors in EU-28 countries in 2019 30% of ministers in EU. Positive trend, with ups and downs Ursula von der Leyen first female President of the European Commission, starting on Nov 2019 Commission established by the treaty of Rome, 1957 In Europe 5 heads of State and 3 heads of government are currently women Never a woman as US President. Neither as Swedish prime minister
  12. 12. Three common arguments for why we should care about dearth of women in power (see Bertrand 2019)
  13. 13. Three common arguments for why we should care about dearth of women in power (see Bertrand 2019) 1. Right and fairness
  14. 14. Three common arguments for why we should care about dearth of women in power (see Bertrand 2019) 1. Right and fairness 2. Selection/Performance
  15. 15. Three common arguments for why we should care about dearth of women in power (see Bertrand 2019) 1. Right and fairness 2. Selection/Performance 3. Representativeness
  16. 16. Three common arguments for why we should care about dearth of women in power (see Bertrand 2019) 1. Right and fairness 2. Selection/Performance 3. Representativeness
  17. 17. Right and fairness Argument boils down to whether we believe that women have (or don’t have) same opportunities as men to ascend to leadership
  18. 18. Right and fairness Argument boils down to whether we believe that women have (or don’t have) same opportunities as men to ascend to leadership Discrimination hard to measure. Are we concerned only about taste-based discrimination, or also about statistical discrimination? How can we ever assess whether two people are equal in terms of potential to enhance the organization’s goals?
  19. 19. Discrimination hard to measure. But indirect evidence that women, at least in some circumstances, face higher (at least perceived) costs than men when they ascend to leadership
  20. 20. Indirect evidence of higher costs for women in leadership In a field experiment, single female students reported lower desired salaries and willingness to travel and work long hours when they expected classmates to see their preferences. Other groups’ response unaffected by peer observability. A second experiment indicates the effects are driven by observability by single male peers. (Bursztyn et al. 2017) Female supervisors more likely to suffer sexual harassment than female employees, in the US, Sweden and Japan, especially in male-dominated industries and firms. Harassment of supervisors also followed by more negative professional and social consequences (Folke et al. 2020). Promotion to a top position - mayor or CEO - doubles the probability of divorce for women in Sweden - not for men (Folke and Rickne 2020)
  21. 21. Other considerations/open questions about equality in opportunity 1. Some would argue that if process of selection is meritocratic we should not worry about gender inequalities. But how well can we really measure performance? Research shows that women are more risk-adverse and less competitive, and value flexibility in working hours more. This may hamper their opportunities to be promoted (desire for flexibility appears particularly important, see Goldin (2016)). What is the evidence that attitudes toward risk, competitiveness, and inflexible hours further corporations’ goals? 2. Some of the behavioural gender differences appear to be determined more by nurture than by nature (Gneezy et al., 2008). How do we think about equal opportunities when we socialize boys and girls differently since childhood? 3. Gender inequalities may be self-reinforcing. Women in male-dominated teams are less confident in their relative performance, less influential, more swayed by others in team discussions, less likely to run and to be voted for leadership positions (Born et al., 2018). What if past discriminations change opportunity set for women today, even in a world in which discrimination is no longer prevalent? 4. What do we mean by meritocratic process? What if networks are important (as they appear to be)?
  22. 22. Three common arguments for why we should care about dearth of women in power (see Bertrand 2019) 1. Right and fairness 2. Selection/Performance 3. Representativeness
  23. 23. Selection/Performance 1. Does increased diversity improve: Selection?
  24. 24. Selection/Performance 1. Does increased diversity improve: Selection? ⇒
  25. 25. Selection/Performance 1. Does increased diversity improve: Selection? ⇒ Performance?
  26. 26. Selection/Performance 1. Does increased diversity improve: Selection? ⇒ Performance? 2. Other channels through which diversity can improve performance?
  27. 27. Diversity and Selection. The theoretical argument Bertrand (2019): “All should agree that an economy that is tapping into a limited pool (men) to find its leaders must be operating inside the efficiency frontier.” Angela Merkel: “We can’t afford to do without the skills of women.” Underlying assumption: talent equally distributed between women and men. Do we have reasons to believe that it is not? If women were less talented than men, somehow inherently, how do we explain massive variation in women’s achievement across countries and over time? - Hsieh et al. (2019). In 1960, in the US 94% of doctors and lawyers were men. By 2010, the fraction was just 62%. Has distribution of talent across groups changed? Likely not. Then, “a substantial pool of innately talented women and black men in 1960 were not pursuing their comparative advantage.”
  28. 28. Diversity and selection: what is the evidence? Evidence from board quotas: Board quotas in Norway: average quota of board members, as expressed by a human capital index, increased throughout the period (Bertrand et al., 2018) Board quotas in Italy: quotas associated with higher levels of education of board members (Ferrari et al., 2018)
  29. 29. Diversity and selection: what is the evidence? Evidence from electoral quotas: Italy: ⇑ education - women more educated, they displace less educated men (Baltrunaite, Bello, Casarico and Profeta (2014))
  30. 30. Diversity and selection: what is the evidence? Evidence from electoral quotas: Italy: ⇑ education - women more educated, they displace less educated men (Baltrunaite, Bello, Casarico and Profeta (2014)) Sweden:⇑ competence of male politicians; resignation of male mediocre leaders (“the crisis of the mediocre man”) (Besley, Folke, Persson and Rickne, 2017)
  31. 31. Diversity and selection: what is the evidence? Evidence from electoral quotas: Italy: ⇑ education - women more educated, they displace less educated men (Baltrunaite, Bello, Casarico and Profeta (2014)) Sweden:⇑ competence of male politicians; resignation of male mediocre leaders (“the crisis of the mediocre man”) (Besley, Folke, Persson and Rickne, 2017) Spain, small municipalities:= education (Bagues and Campa, 2018)
  32. 32. Diversity and selection: what is the evidence? (To the best of my knowledge) no evidence from Western democracies that electoral quota decreases quality, in spite of the stubbornly persistent objection against gender quotas. Note: not obvious what is a good measure of “quality”
  33. 33. Other potential channels of influence from diversity to performance Important read: Iris Bhonet, What Works
  34. 34. Other potential channels of influence from diversity to performance Important read: Iris Bhonet, What Works Wooley et al. (2010): measure “collective intelligence” of randomly formed groups that engaged in a number of tasks. Two important findings: 1. Collective intelligence better predictor of future performance than the sum of individual abilities. Important to build good groups 2. Equal opportunities to speak, higher score on social sensitivity, and higher share of women positively associated with collective intelligence ⇒ women may be an important “glue” to connect different parts of a group
  35. 35. Other potential channels of influence from diversity to performance Important read: Iris Bhonet, What Works Wooley et al. (2010): measure “collective intelligence” of randomly formed groups that engaged in a number of tasks. Two important findings: 1. Collective intelligence better predictor of future performance than the sum of individual abilities. Important to build good groups 2. Equal opportunities to speak, higher score on social sensitivity, and higher share of women positively associated with collective intelligence ⇒ women may be an important “glue” to connect different parts of a group Diversity of viewpoints likely important when a task involves collective problem-solving. When coordination is needed, there may be a case for homogeneity. When listening and bridge-building is important, having more women in the group likely helps. When the goal is individual productivity, important to consider peer-effects ⇒ Positive girl effect in schools - both girls and boys perform better when there are more girls in the classroom. Implications?
  36. 36. Diversity and performance. The evidence Does having more women on top of organizations improve performance?
  37. 37. Diversity and performance. The evidence Does having more women on top of organizations improve performance? Evidence, based on correlations and introduction of quotas, is mixed. A clear relationship between gender composition of the board and company performance has not been convincingly established. Based on available findings, the “business argument” for quota in boards is not necessarily strong.
  38. 38. Diversity and performance. The evidence Does having more women on top of organizations improve performance? Evidence, based on correlations and introduction of quotas, is mixed. A clear relationship between gender composition of the board and company performance has not been convincingly established. Based on available findings, the “business argument” for quota in boards is not necessarily strong. Women in politics: closely elected female mayors in Brazil engage less in corruption and political patronage, and have lower probability to be re-elected (Brollo and Troiano, 2015).
  39. 39. Diversity and performance. Some considerations on the existing evidence Correlations are difficult to interpret
  40. 40. Diversity and performance. Some considerations on the existing evidence Correlations are difficult to interpret but also studying the impact of quotas poses some problems: when quotas are introduced the board becomes more gender diverse, but also more “new”; how long a team worked together appears to matter for performance
  41. 41. Diversity and performance. Some considerations on the existing evidence Correlations are difficult to interpret but also studying the impact of quotas poses some problems: when quotas are introduced the board becomes more gender diverse, but also more “new”; how long a team worked together appears to matter for performance Technically very difficult to assess impact of more women in CEO positions, for several reason, most important one perhaps being that they are too few
  42. 42. Diversity and performance. Some considerations on the existing evidence Correlations are difficult to interpret but also studying the impact of quotas poses some problems: when quotas are introduced the board becomes more gender diverse, but also more “new”; how long a team worked together appears to matter for performance Technically very difficult to assess impact of more women in CEO positions, for several reason, most important one perhaps being that they are too few What makes a group gender diverse? Important to consider critical mass theories and risk of tokenism
  43. 43. Three common arguments for why we should care about dearth of women in power (see Bertrand 2019) 1. Right and fairness 2. Selection/Performance 3. Representativeness
  44. 44. The representativeness argument
  45. 45. The representativeness argument Are women’s preferences adequately represented in male-dominated organizations?
  46. 46. The representativeness argument: evidence from politics Women appear to have different preferences than men
  47. 47. The representativeness argument: evidence from politics Women appear to have different preferences than men Spain, survey: women more likely than men to report that unemployment, pensions, education, the status of the health system, drugs, youth problems, violence against women, women’s problems in general, and social issues are a main concern to them. Men are significantly more concerned about housing, immigration, work conditions, politics, corruption, the status of infrastructure, environmental degradation, the judiciary system and agriculture, hunting and fishing (Bagues and Campa, 2018).
  48. 48. The representativeness argument: evidence from politics Women appear to have different preferences than men Spain, survey: women more likely than men to report that unemployment, pensions, education, the status of the health system, drugs, youth problems, violence against women, women’s problems in general, and social issues are a main concern to them. Men are significantly more concerned about housing, immigration, work conditions, politics, corruption, the status of infrastructure, environmental degradation, the judiciary system and agriculture, hunting and fishing (Bagues and Campa, 2018). Switzerland, reported voting behavior in referenda: women show less support for increasing retirement age, nuclear energy, the military; more support for environmental protection, healthy life-style, equal rights for women, assistance to disabled (Funk and Gathmann, 2015)
  49. 49. The representativeness argument: evidence from politics Women appear to have different preferences than men Spain, survey: women more likely than men to report that unemployment, pensions, education, the status of the health system, drugs, youth problems, violence against women, women’s problems in general, and social issues are a main concern to them. Men are significantly more concerned about housing, immigration, work conditions, politics, corruption, the status of infrastructure, environmental degradation, the judiciary system and agriculture, hunting and fishing (Bagues and Campa, 2018). Switzerland, reported voting behavior in referenda: women show less support for increasing retirement age, nuclear energy, the military; more support for environmental protection, healthy life-style, equal rights for women, assistance to disabled (Funk and Gathmann, 2015) USA, extension of suffrage to women: immediate increases in state government expenditures and revenue and more liberal voting patterns for federal representatives (Lott and Kenny, 1999)
  50. 50. Do differences in preferences translate into different policy decisions?
  51. 51. 2 types of studies: Gender quotas Woman wins against man by narrow margin
  52. 52. 2 types of studies: Gender quotas Woman wins against man by narrow margin Evidence is mixed
  53. 53. Gender and policy
  54. 54. Gender and policy India: seat reservation for female head of villages; women prioritize more on areas where female voters are more likely to bring complains, e.g. drinking water infrastructure (Chattopadhyay and Duflo, 2004)
  55. 55. Gender and policy India: seat reservation for female head of villages; women prioritize more on areas where female voters are more likely to bring complains, e.g. drinking water infrastructure (Chattopadhyay and Duflo, 2004) India: women elected in the State Legislatures, policy changes; caste matters for type of change (Clots-Figueras, 2011)
  56. 56. Gender and policy India: seat reservation for female head of villages; women prioritize more on areas where female voters are more likely to bring complains, e.g. drinking water infrastructure (Chattopadhyay and Duflo, 2004) India: women elected in the State Legislatures, policy changes; caste matters for type of change (Clots-Figueras, 2011) India: women elected in the State Legislatures, higher education in corresponding districts, only in rural areas (Clots-Figueras, 2012)
  57. 57. Gender and policy India: seat reservation for female head of villages; women prioritize more on areas where female voters are more likely to bring complains, e.g. drinking water infrastructure (Chattopadhyay and Duflo, 2004) India: women elected in the State Legislatures, policy changes; caste matters for type of change (Clots-Figueras, 2011) India: women elected in the State Legislatures, higher education in corresponding districts, only in rural areas (Clots-Figueras, 2012) India: women elected in the State Legislatures, more public health facilities, increase in antenatal care visits, institutional delivery, and breastfeeding (Bhalotra and Clots-Figueras, 2014)
  58. 58. India: seat reservation in States Legislatures, large and significant rise in documented crimes against women - reporting ⇑ (Iyer, Mani, Mishra, and Topalova, 2015)
  59. 59. India: seat reservation in States Legislatures, large and significant rise in documented crimes against women - reporting ⇑ (Iyer, Mani, Mishra, and Topalova, 2015) Brazil: elected female mayors, less corruption and less political patronage, lower re-election probability (Brollo and Troiano, 2015)
  60. 60. India: seat reservation in States Legislatures, large and significant rise in documented crimes against women - reporting ⇑ (Iyer, Mani, Mishra, and Topalova, 2015) Brazil: elected female mayors, less corruption and less political patronage, lower re-election probability (Brollo and Troiano, 2015) USA: elected female mayors, no impact on size and composition of expenditures and crime rates (Ferreira and Gyourko, 2014)
  61. 61. India: seat reservation in States Legislatures, large and significant rise in documented crimes against women - reporting ⇑ (Iyer, Mani, Mishra, and Topalova, 2015) Brazil: elected female mayors, less corruption and less political patronage, lower re-election probability (Brollo and Troiano, 2015) USA: elected female mayors, no impact on size and composition of expenditures and crime rates (Ferreira and Gyourko, 2014) Spain: candidate gender quotas for municipal councillors, no significant changes in budget and socio-economic indicators (Bagues and Campa, 2018)
  62. 62. Rich evidence from India that gender of policy-makers matters
  63. 63. Rich evidence from India that gender of policy-makers matters Surprisingly little evidence from Western democracies.
  64. 64. Rich evidence from India that gender of policy-makers matters Surprisingly little evidence from Western democracies.
  65. 65. Dearth of women in power. Issue in terms of equality, efficiency, and representativeness.
  66. 66. Dearth of women in power. Issue in terms of equality, efficiency, and representativeness. What to do?
  67. 67. 1. Act on the pipeline Evidence of gender differences in preferences over work arrangements. Explore opportunities for flexible working hours, monitor performance carefully
  68. 68. 1. Act on the pipeline Evidence of gender differences in preferences over work arrangements. Explore opportunities for flexible working hours, monitor performance carefully Family-relational considerations: role of policy - promote more egalitarian gender roles (paternity leaves? childcare? role models?)
  69. 69. 2. “Stimulate demand”
  70. 70. 2. “Stimulate demand” Focus on diversity in teams especially when goal is problem-solving. Important to promote diversity when it is likely to pay off the most
  71. 71. 2. “Stimulate demand” Focus on diversity in teams especially when goal is problem-solving. Important to promote diversity when it is likely to pay off the most Quota or not Quota?
  72. 72. What do we know about quotas?
  73. 73. What do we know about quotas? They tend to increase women’s representation in boards or in political office if they are properly designed (strategic positioning: “zipper” quota or double-preference system preferable)
  74. 74. What do we know about quotas? They tend to increase women’s representation in boards or in political office if they are properly designed (strategic positioning: “zipper” quota or double-preference system preferable) Effects above and beyond the quota mandate? Plausible given recent evidence of “gendered group dynamics”. Mixed evidence in politics from different contexts (India, Italy, Spain, Sweden)
  75. 75. What do we know about quotas? They tend to increase women’s representation in boards or in political office if they are properly designed (strategic positioning: “zipper” quota or double-preference system preferable) Effects above and beyond the quota mandate? Plausible given recent evidence of “gendered group dynamics”. Mixed evidence in politics from different contexts (India, Italy, Spain, Sweden) Evidence from Norwegian board quota: little discernible impact on women in business beyond direct effect on women who made it into the boardroom
  76. 76. What do we know about quotas? They tend to increase women’s representation in boards or in political office if they are properly designed (strategic positioning: “zipper” quota or double-preference system preferable) Effects above and beyond the quota mandate? Plausible given recent evidence of “gendered group dynamics”. Mixed evidence in politics from different contexts (India, Italy, Spain, Sweden) Evidence from Norwegian board quota: little discernible impact on women in business beyond direct effect on women who made it into the boardroom Policy changes hard to measure. Also not obvious what should be the size of the mandated increase in female representation to achieve policy change. Too little evidence from Western democracies to draw conclusions
  77. 77. What do we know about quotas? They tend to increase women’s representation in boards or in political office if they are properly designed (strategic positioning: “zipper” quota or double-preference system preferable) Effects above and beyond the quota mandate? Plausible given recent evidence of “gendered group dynamics”. Mixed evidence in politics from different contexts (India, Italy, Spain, Sweden) Evidence from Norwegian board quota: little discernible impact on women in business beyond direct effect on women who made it into the boardroom Policy changes hard to measure. Also not obvious what should be the size of the mandated increase in female representation to achieve policy change. Too little evidence from Western democracies to draw conclusions No evidence that “quality” of politicians and boards deteriorates. On the contrary!
  78. 78. Quota or not Quota?
  79. 79. Why not. But..
  80. 80. Why not. But.. Important to understand what is the most efficient design, given context - marginal increases? big push? risk of tokenisms? critical mass?
  81. 81. Why not. But.. Important to understand what is the most efficient design, given context - marginal increases? big push? risk of tokenisms? critical mass? In politics, quotas unlikely to be “enough” to increase “substantial representation”. To be combined with other measures, which also consider the supply side of the “market” and role of parties.
  82. 82. Other potentially important factor: women seem to be more affected by negative feedback. What happens on social media?
  83. 83. Monitor developments, collect more data and information (technology can help).
  84. 84. Monitor developments, collect more data and information (technology can help). Do not become easily satisfied with positive developments. Progress not always linear.
  85. 85. A lot of work still ahead of us...
  86. 86. A lot of work still ahead of us...
  87. 87. Thank you! pamela.campa@hhs.se Twitter: @PAMELACAMPA1

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