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Documents de travail (2015), ESSEC Business School

Group Gender Composition and Economic Decision-Making: Evidence from the Kallystée Business Game

This paper analyses data collected in 2012 and 2013 at the ESSEC Business School from Kallystée, a proprietary mass-attendance business game. Company boards are simulated by groups of five students selected at random. We manipulate the gender composition of the management teams to allow for all possible gender combinations. We show that all-men and mixed teams with four women perform significantly better than all-women teams. However, when controlling for the average tolerance to risk of the teams, the performance advantage of all-men teams vanishes, while the “residual” economic performance of mixed-gender teams with a majority of women is still positive and strong. Further analysis of “actual” risk-taking behavior shows that in these mixed-gender teams a “risk shift” mechanism is at play, as they take risks beyond what their total tolerance to risk as a group would suggest.

LAMIRAUD, K. and VRANCEANU, R. (2015). Group Gender Composition and Economic Decision-Making: Evidence from the Kallystée Business Game. ESSEC Business School.