Paul Seabright - Women form social networks more selectively and less opportunistically than men

Melbourne Institute Seminar

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Barbara Broadway

b.broadway@unimelb.edu.au

Title: Women form social networks more selectively and less opportunistically than men

Abstract: We test two hypotheses about gender differences in costly social interactions. Differential selectivity states that women invest less than men in interactions with new individuals. Differential opportunism states that women's investment in social interactions is less responsive to information about the interaction's payoffs. These hypotheses have important implications for gender differences in social network formation and labor market outcomes. A laboratory experiment with an incoming cohort of university students confirms our hypotheses. The subsequent formation of students' real social networks is also consistent with our hypotheses and experimental results. We link these findings to a more general account of differences in the functioning of men's and women's social and professional networks.

Presenter: Prof Paul Seabright, University of Toulouse

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