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: ESE Female Network Seminar (cyberspace), 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 (cyberspace), Econometric Society World Congress (ESWC) (cyberspace)
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)
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.
Do Women Give Up Competing (Against Men) Too Easily? Evidence from World & European Debate Tournaments
Using an 11-year panel data set of 105 945 speech evaluation scores and gender composition of 13243 debate rooms in World & European universities debate tournaments, this research exploits the regression discontinuity design of debate tournaments & exogenous assignment of opponents in debate tournament rounds to investigate whether women give up competing too easily, especially when faced with more men in the debate room. Across the 9 preliminary rounds, controlling for debate skill level, women score significantly lower than men, especially if faced with stronger teams at the start. Furthermore, women, but not men, who fail to make it to the elimination rounds and/or top 50 best speakers, are less likely to compete again the following year. This gender difference in persuasion competitiveness may help to explain the persistent lack of women in high-ranked positions.
Gender Differences in Negotiation Tactics -A Text Mining Approach (with Malia Mason)
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 negotiation exchanges among MBA professionals to uncover gender disparities in negotiation tactics. 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. By correlating these linguistic features to individual’s professional industry, personality measures and dyad-specific negotiation outcomes, we discuss the effectiveness of negotiation strategies for each gender, in both integrative and distributive negotiation contexts.