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On efforts in teams with stereotypes


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Diversity in the workplace implies a balance in positions held by different social groups in organizations. We analyze the effect of negative stereotypes about the abilities of individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds on efforts and outcomes in teams. A project’s success depends on the abilities and efforts of agents from different backgrounds. Under simultaneous effort contribution, the stereotype lowers efforts of all agents and the project’s success chance. When the principal assigns the disadvantaged/stereotyped agent as leader in effort contribution, the effect of the stereotype is mitigated and the project’s success chance is the highest; this also maximizes the principal’s expected payoff. Although the principal offers symmetric incentives, the stereotyped agent often exerts higher effort.


Sikdar. (2015). On efforts in teams with stereotypes. Economics Letters, 203-207.

Acceptance Date Oct 23, 2015
Publication Date Oct 29, 2015
Journal Economics Letters
Print ISSN 0165-1765
Publisher Elsevier
Pages 203-207
Keywords Stereotype, Peer effect, Team production, Sequential effort contribution
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