Dr. Stoddard employs experimental methodology to study issues of coordination and cooperation in demographically-diverse groups. Her research also examines gender differences in competitiveness and political ambition.
"On Using Interval Response Data in Experimental Economics" (with James McDonald and Daniel Walton). Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 72, 9-16. 2018.
"Effort, luck, and voting for redistribution" (with Lars Lefgren and David Sims). Journal of Public Economics, 143. 2016.
"Run, Jane, Run! The Gender Gap in Responses to Political Recruitment" (with Jessica Preece). Political Behavior, 38(3), 561-577, 2016.
"Why women don't run: Experimental evidence on gender differences in competition aversion" (with Jessica Preece). Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 117, 296-308, 2015. "Does the message matter? A field experiment on political party recruitment" (with Jessica Preece). Journal of Experimental Political Science., 2:1-10, 2015.
"Fire-sale FDI: Impact of Financial Crises on Foreign Direct Investment" (with Ilan Noy).Review of Development Economics, 19(2), 387-399, 2015."An Experimental Study on the Relevance and Scope of Nationality as a Coordination Device" (with Andreas Leibbrandt). Economic Inquiry, 52:4, 1392-1407, 2014.
"Increasing workplace diversity: Evidence from a recruiting experiment at a Fortune-500 company" (with Jeffrey Flory, Andreas Leibbrandt and Christina Rott)
The persistent lack of workplace diversity in management and leadership may lead to organizational vulnerabilities. White males occupy most high-profile positions in the largest U.S. corporations whereas African Americans, Hispanics, and women are clearly underrepresented in leadership roles. While many firms and other organizations have set ambitious goals to increase demographic diversity, there is a dearth nof empirical evidence on effective ways to reach them. We use a natural field experiment to test several hypotheses on effective means to attract minority candidates for top professional careers. By randomly varying the content in recruiting materials of a major financial services corporation with over 10,000 employees, we test different types of signals regarding the extent and manner in which the employer values diversity among its workers. We find that signaling explicit interest in employee diversity can reverse the ethnicity gap in rates of interest and applications, and that it has a strong positive effect on interest in openings among racial minority candidates, the likelihood that they apply, and the probability that they are selected. These results uncover an effective method for disrupting monocultures in management through a minor intervention that influences sorting among job-seekers into high-profile careers.
"Are two bads better than one? A model of sensory limitations" (with Lars Lefgren and John Stovall)
We present a theoretical framework which explains the optimizing behavior of individuals who are exposed to many latent stimuli but prone to experience only the most salient one. We show that individuals with such preferences may find it optimal to engage in seemingly dysfunctional behavior such as self-harm. Our model also explains the behavior of individuals experiencing depression or trapped by multiple competing problems. We present experimental evidence suggesting such preferences explain the behavior of more than two thirds of subjects exposed to single and multiple painful stimuli.
"The Other 1%: class leavening, contamination and voting for redistribution" (with Lars Lefgren and David Sims)
We perform an experiment to measure how changes in the effort exerted by a small fraction of a low-reward group affect the willingness of the high-reward group to vote for redistributive taxation. We find that a substantial fraction of high reward subjects vote in favor of greater redistribution when a very small fraction of high-effort individuals is added to a pool of otherwise low-effort poor. Also, contaminating a group of high-effort poor with a small number of low-effort individuals causes the most generous rich subjects to vote for less redistribution. These results suggest that anecdotes about the deservedness of a small group of transfer recipients may be effective in changing support for redistribution. We find large gender differences in the results. Relative to men, women respond three times more strongly to the existence of deserving individuals among the poor. This behavior may help explain gender differences in support for redistribution more generally.
"The effect of gender priming on communication and collaboration in mixed-gender teams" (with Joseph Price)
We study experimentally the effect of priming subjects' gender identity on their collaboration and communication in mixed-gender teams with a real-effort laboratory task. We find that priming gender identity seems to evoke stereotypes about men and women's roles in communication, causing men to be more vocal and women to communicate less. This leads to a significant increase in imbalanced communication patterns in mixed-gender teams, as compared to same-gender pairings. Despite these imbalances in communication, however, we find that mixed-gender groups perform better on the task than same-gender pairings. We discuss potential explanations for these effects.
"Group gender composition and group performance and dynamics" (with Chris Karpowitz and Jessica Preece)
Prior research has shown that gender composition can profoundly affect group-level outcomes and dynamics, but most of these findings are based on lab experiments in which participants interact only briefly. Outside of the lab, scholars know very little about how a group’s gender dynamics change when real-world groups meet extensively over time. We randomize gender composition of semester-long groups in one of the top undergraduate accounting programs in the US and measure individual and group-level outcomes through lab observation, surveys and behavioral outcomes. Initial results show that when women are a minority in a group, they face a severe deficit in participation and authority at the beginning of the semester. Though we find some evidence that the gap between men and women in self-reports of participation and influence narrows over the course of the semester, it does not appear that repeated interaction substantially improves women’s observed participation and influence.
"Prospect of upward mobility and preferences for redistribution" (with Lars Lefgren and David Sims)
Published & Working Papers
Olga B. Stoddard