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

Grosch, KerstinORCID:; Müller, Stephan; Rau, Holger A. and Zhurakhovska, Lilia (August 2020) Selection into Leadership and Dishonest Behavior of Leaders: A Gender Experiment. IHS Working Paper Series 19, 34 p.

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Leaders often have to weigh ethical against monetary consequences. Such situations may evoke psychological costs from being dishonest and dismissing higher monetary benefits for others. In a within-subjects experiment, we analyze such a dilemma. We first measure individual dishonest behavior when subjects report the outcome of a die roll, which determines their payoffs. Subsequently, they act as leaders and report payoffs for a group including themselves. In our main treatment, subjects can apply for leadership, whereas in the control treatment, we assign leadership randomly. Results reveal that women behave more dishonestly as leaders while men behave similarly in both the individual and the group decision. For female leaders, we find that sorting into leadership is not related to individual honesty preferences. In the control we find that female leaders do not increase dishonesty. A followup study reveals that female leaders become more dishonest after assuming leadership, as they align dishonest behavior with their belief on group members' honesty preferences.

Item Type: IHS Series
Keywords: leadership, decision for others, lab experiment, gender differences, dishonesty
Funders: University of Goettingen, University of Duisburg-Essen
Classification Codes (e.g. JEL): C91, H26, J16
Research Units: Former Research Units (until 2020) > Insight Austria
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2020 12:31
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2024 06:02

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