Research

The ultimate goal of my research is to uncover subtle acts of influence in strategic interactions across genders and any ensuing impacts on their performance evaluations and outcomes. Hence, I collect novel data sets from strategic interaction settings of inter-collegiate debate tournaments & MBA negotiation exchanges using text mining, argument mining and micro-econometric techniques. In another research strand, I borrow tools from banking contagion models to theoretically understand the impact of homophily in team innovation decisions.

The (Great) Persuasion Divide? Gender Disparities in Debate Speeches & Evaluations

[draft coming soon]

Upcoming: Economics of Gender & the Workplace Workshop (Rotterdam), Science of Diversity & Inclusion Convening (Berkeley), Spring Meeting of Young Economists 2020 (Bologna), EALE SOLE AASLE World Conference 2020 (Berlin)

Presented at: RGS Doctoral Conference in Economics (Dortmund), WUDC Gender Inclusion Panel Discussion (Bangkok), CBS Behavioral Working Group Seminar (New York), 2019 Econometric Society Winter Meeting (ESWM) (Rotterdam), Natural Language, Dialog and Speech Symposium of the New York Academy of Sciences (New York), CBS Chazen Institute Research Scholar Seminar (New York), Data Science Institute Poster Session (New York), Zurich Text As Data Workshop (Zurich), International Association of Applied Econometrics 2019 (Nicosia), TIBER Symposium on Psychology & Economics (Tilburg), Eastern European Machine Learning Summer School 2019 (Bucharest), Data Science Summer School 2018 (Paris), EUR Brownbag Seminar 2019, EUR Diversity Research Seminar 2018

Do men and women persuade differently? Are they evaluated differently? Using a data set of 1517 verbatim speech transcripts, evaluation scores and administrative data from the well-defined competitive setting of intercollegiate debate tournaments, I investigate linguistic tactics across genders and any ensuing impacts on their performance evaluations. On average, female debaters use less formal, more personal & disclosing style and more hedges & fillers in their speeches. In terms of evaluation, women with more analytical style are punished with a 0.16 standard deviation reduction in score, whereas more personal pronouns and positive emotional tone are associated with a 0.13 and 0.17 standard deviation increase in score respectively. Most effects become statistically insignificant when accounting for debate-room specific factors. Altogether, these findings suggest that women receive lower scores because they use more score-reducing and less score-enhancing features in their speeches, rather than varying evaluation standards for each gender. These results contribute to discussions on the role of persuasion tactics the path to high-powered career success for women.

Two of a Kind Try Together? The Impact of Homophily on Innovation Decisions in Teams (with Josse Delfgaauw)

Accessit Best Paper Award at 16th Institutional & Organizational Academy 2017 (Corsica)

Presented at: 33rd European Economic Association Annual Meeting (Cologne), 3rd Lectures on Organizational Economics & Human Resources (Cologne), TI PhD Seminar, EUR Brownbag Seminar

[robustness check phase]

The tendency to disproportionately interact with similar others (i.e. homophily) is a ubiquitous social phenomenon. While it is commonly hypothesized that homophily hampers group creativity and innovation, empirical findings are mixed. This research examines the impact of homophily on innovation in teams, in a simple setting where agents decide whether or not to implement a project that embodies strategic complementarity. Agents receive conditionally correlated private signals about the innovation quality, where homophily is the degree of correlation between the signals. Our key result is as follows: When agents share information truthfully, homophily reduces the probability of implementation; whereas the opposite occurs without information sharing. Given these effects, we discuss an alternative interpretation of homophily as correlated benefits and several extensions in correlation neglect, information collection behavior and strategic communication within the organizational context.

Choking under Questioning? The Impact of Gender Composition of Opponents on Own Performance

[data sorting & initial analysis phase]

Does the gender composition of opponents in a room influence one’s performance? This research exploits the exogenous assignment of opponents in debate tournament rounds and strategic questions posed to speakers from opponents to investigate the differential responses under the presence of extra man/woman and questions in a debate room. Using a rich panel data set of approximately 110 000 speech evaluation scores and a set of strategic questions & answers from roughly 1700 debate speech transcripts in competitive inter-collegiate debate tournaments from 2008 to 2018, I study the dynamics of gender gap in participation and performance within this diverse population of high-achieving university students.

Gender Differences in Negotiation Tactics -A Text Mining Approach (with Malia Mason)

[data cleaning & initial analysis phase]

Building on recent work using text as data to study politeness and receptiveness in negotiations, we employ dictionary-based text mining techniques on a set of 1000 e-mail & 180 face-to-face, back-and-forth negotiation exchanges among MBA professionals. Preliminary findings in the face-to-face negotiation exchanges show that women across the board use significantly more polite language, indirect questions and hedges, as compared to men. Our next step is to correlate these linguistic features to individual’s professional industry, personality measures and dyad-specific negotiation outcomes, to understand why any differences exist, and critically, their effectiveness (i.e. negotiation outcomes) in integrative and distributive negotiation contexts.

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