I (Don’t) Like You! But Who Cares? Gender Differences in Same-Sex and Mixed-Sex Teams

Leonie Gerhards, Michael Kosfeld, 2020,
The Economic Journal, 130, 716 – 739

link to publication

We study the effect of likeability on women’s and men’s team behaviour in a lab experiment. Extending a two-player public goods game and a minimum effort game by an additional pre-play stage that informs team members about their mutual likeability, we find that female teams lower their contribution to the public good in the event of low likeability, while male teams achieve high levels of co-operation irrespective of the level of mutual likeability. In mixed-sex teams, both women’s and men’s contributions depend on mutual likeability. Similar results are found in the minimum effort game. Our results offer a new perspective on gender differences in labour market outcomes: mutual dislikeability impedes team behaviour, except in all-male teams.