Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Essays on the Role of Gender and Groups in Economic Decision Making

Schwarz, Jay Alan (2011) Essays on the Role of Gender and Groups in Economic Decision Making. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (526kB) | Preview


Groups collectively make many economic decisions. Corporate boards select CEOs or developstrategic plans. School boards hire superintendents and develop policies. Here I study ways gender may inflence such group decisions. In Chapter 1, I study the formation of elected groups in an environment where females are well represented. Using California school board elections data, I estimate the electorate's response to either an additional male or female serving on the school board. I find that a female (male) winning the current election - and thus sitting on the board - increases the number of males (females) elected in the next cycle. I hypothesize the electorate has a preferred board gender composition it seeks to maintain. This result highlights that electoral environmentswith high-female representation may be substantially different from the previously studied low-female representation environments because in the former case voters have greater experience with female officeholders. In Chapter 2, I use the same school board data and study whether increased female representation on a school board affects a district's academic performance. I find that increasing the number of female board members has a positive impact on academic performance for districts failing to meet state requirements. I also show gender in fact in influences how a school board executes its duty of monitoring the superintendent. For failing school districts, boards with more females are less likely to experience a superintendent separation. Lastly, in Chapter 3, I use an experimental design to study gender interactions within groups evaluating males and females competing against one another in a task. I elicit individual group members' evaluations and then groups' collective evaluations of the competitors. Consistent with studies of observational data, I find only groups with either low or high numbers of females tend to favor the male competitor. By mapping individuals to group decisions, I find this is partially explained by females being less likely to influence the group decision if they disagree a priori with the majority opinion.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Schwarz, Jay Alanjas212@pitt.eduJAS212
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairVesterlund, Lisevester@pitt.eduVESTER
Committee CoChairWalsh, Randallwalshr@pitt.eduWALSHR
Committee MemberHoekstra, Markmarkhoek@pitt.eduMARKHOEK
Committee MemberNiederle,
Date: 30 June 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 20 April 2011
Approval Date: 30 June 2011
Submission Date: 30 March 2011
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Economics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: elections; groups; school boards; experiments; gender
Other ID:, etd-03302011-153828
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:33
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:37


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item