ICES Brown Bag for November 17

Events, Seminars | November 14, 2016

Join us for an ICES Brown Bag Lecture, featuring Erte Xiao.

Prof. Xiao, of Monash University, will discuss her paper Competing by Default: A New Way to Break the Glass Ceiling (Abstract). The talk will take place on Thursday, November 17th, from 12:00 to 1:00pm, in room 5075 of the Metropolitan Building, Arlington campus.

Coffee and dessert will be provided.

Please visit the Brown Bag Schedule to learn more about the Brown Bag series.


There are significant informal barriers that keep women from advancing to leadership positions. We conduct an experiment to examine whether the pervasive opt-in mechanism used in most organizations contributes to the glass ceiling. We design an opt-out mechanism where the default is to compete for the leadership position and individuals can opt out of competition. Our findings suggest that women are more likely to compete for leadership positions in the opt-out mechanism and this effectively reduces the gender gap. When given a choice between the opt-in and opt-out mechanisms, individuals are equally likely to choose the two. We argue that the opt-out mechanism can be an effective and feasible way to break the glass ceiling.

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