This discussion paper resulted in an article in Management Science. Volume 59 issue 7, pages 1514-1528.
This paper reports on a field experiment conducted to estimate the impact of the share of women in business
teams on their performance. Teams consisting of undergraduate students in business studies start up a venture as part of their curriculum. We manipulated the gender composition of teams and assigned students randomly to teams, conditional on their gender. We find that teams with an equal gender mix perform better than male-dominated teams in terms of sales and profits. We explore various mechanisms suggested in the literature to explain this positive effect of gender diversity on performance (including complementarities, learning, monitoring, and conflicts) but find no support for them.