Gendered Network Structures and Careers

Project Start:05/2013
Researchers:Bernard Richter
Category: Law and Finance, Transparency Lab
Funded by:LOEWE

The main objective of this project is to understand whether social networks explain (part of ) the continuing observed gender differences in remuneration and career. We investigate two separate questions: 1. do professional networks affect remuneration differently for men and women? and 2. do men and women form differently their social networks? In the first paper, we investigate the impact of social networks on earnings using a dataset of over 20000 executives of European and US firms. We relate the size of an individual's network of influential former colleagues with her current remuneration. We use a placebo technique to show that our estimates reflect the causal impact of connections and not merely unobserved individual characteristics. We further investigate how networks are associated with women's and men's remunerations. In the second paper, we test two hypotheses, based on sexual selection theory, about gender differences in costly social interactions. Differential selectivity states that women invest less than men in interactions with new individuals. Differential opportunism states that women's investment in social interactions is less responsive to information about payoffs. The hypotheses imply that women's networks are more stable, path dependent and composed of strong rather than weak links. During their introductory week, we let new university students play an experimental trust game, first with one anonymous partner, then with the same and a new partner. We further elicit real social connections of students made during the academic year to compare with the experimental results.


Related Working Papers

No.Author/sTitleYearProgram AreaKeywords
168Guido Friebel, Marie Lalanne, Bernard Richter, Peter Schwardmann, Paul SeabrightWomen Form Social Networks More Selectively and Less Opportunistically Than Men2017 Law and Finance, Transparency Lab Social Networks, Gender Differences, Trust Game
123Marie Lalanne, Paul SeabrightThe Old Boy Network: The Impact of Professional Networks on Remuneration in Top Executive Jobs2016 Law and Finance, Transparency Lab professional networks, gender wage gap, executive compensation, placebo technique