Whether to Apply Management Science, 2023

with Katherine Baldiga Coffman and Leena Kulkarni

Abstract: Labor market outcomes depend, in part, upon an individual’s willingness to put herself forward for different opportunities. We use a series of experiments to explore gender differences in willingness to apply for higher return, more challenging work. We find that, in male-typed domains, qualified women are significantly less likely to apply than similarly well-qualified men. We provide evidence both in a controlled setting and in the field that reducing ambiguity surrounding required qualifications increases the rate at which qualified women apply. The effects are more mixed for men. Our results suggest a path for increasing the pool of qualified women applicants.

Stereotypes and Belief Updating Journal of European Economic Association, 2023

with Katherine Baldiga Coffman and Leena Kulkarni

Abstract: We explore how feedback shapes, and perpetuates, gender gaps in self-assessments. Participants in our experiments take tests of their ability across different domains. Absent feedback, beliefs of own ability are strongly influenced by gender stereotypes: holding own ability fixed, individuals are more confident in more gender congruent domains (i.e. more male-typed for men, more female-typed for women). After feedback, stereotypes continue to shape posterior beliefs, even beyond what a Bayesian model would predict. This is primarily because both men and women update their beliefs more positively in response to good news when it arrives in a more gender congruent domain.

Work in Progress