Social Norms and Governance: The Behavioral Response to Female Leadership

Gangadharan, L and Jain, T and Maitra, P and Vecci, J (2014) Social Norms and Governance: The Behavioral Response to Female Leadership. Preliminary Version.

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Women in leadership positions make different policy choices compared to men. An increase in the proportion of female leaders can therefore alter both the nature of governance as well as the types of public services provided. This paper uses survey and experimental data from 40 Indian villages to examine the following questions: First, do males and females respond differently to women as leaders, and what is the reaction of women leaders to mens perception? Second, to what extent is behavior towards leaders influenced by experience with female leaders? Finally, what are the reasons for male backlash against womens leadership, and does it persist over time? We find evidence of a significant male backlash against female leaders. Our results suggest that resistance to women leaders is due to violation of social norms. We also find that increased exposure to female leaders reduces the extent of bias.

ISB Creators:
ISB CreatorsORCiD
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gender, Governance, Leaders, Affirmative action, Artefactual Field experiment,India.
Subjects: Leadership
Corporate Governance
Organization Behavior
Depositing User: Veeramani R
Date Deposited: 30 Dec 2014 14:52
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2015 10:27
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