Working Paper No. 1091

Does Gender Diversity Promote Non-Conformity?

Published: October 20, 2015Pages: 42Keywords: Conformity; Gender Differences; Group Composition; SkillJEL-codes: C90; D02; D71; D83; J16
Published version

Does Gender Diversity Promote Non-Conformity? Makan Amini, Mathias Ekström, Tore Ellingsen, Magnus Johannesson and Fredrik Strömsten


Failure to express minority views may distort the behavior of company boards, committees, juries, and other decision-making bodies. Devising a new experimental procedure to measure such conformity in a judgment task, we compare the degree of conformity in groups with varying gender composition. Overall, our experiments offer little evidence that gender composition affects expression of minority views. A robust finding is that a subject’s lack of ability predicts both a true propensity to accept others judgment (informational social influence) and a propensity to agree despite private doubt (normative social influence). Thus, as an antidote to conformity in our experiments, high individual ability seems more effective than group diversity.

Mathias Ekström

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mathias.ekstrom@ifn.se

An Agenda for Europe

Institutional Reform for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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The authors of this book, Niklas Elert, Magnus Henrekson and Mikael Stenkula, advise the economies of the European Union to become more entrepreneurial in promoting innovation and economic growth. The authors propose a reform strategy with respect to several aspects to achieve this goal.

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