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.
"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.
"Leaning back: experiment on cooperation and communication in mixed gender teams. " (with Joseph Price)
Women are increasingly more likely to pursue education and careers in historically male- dominated professions, increasing the amount of mixed-gender interactions in organizational settings. While gender diversity in teams provides an important benefit to the workplace, it may also lead to lower levels of cooperation as individuals may treat members of the out-group less favorably than members of the in-group. In this study, we assess the effect of priming a gender identity on cooperation and communication in mixed-gender teams through a laboratory experiment with a real-effort task. We find that priming gender identity seems to invoke stereotypes about men and women's roles in communication, causing men to be more vocal and women to communicate less. Notably, these imbalances in communication patterns of men and women lead to a significant increase in inefficiency in mixed-gender groups, suggesting that making gender differences more salient diminishes subjects' ability or motivation to remain task- oriented.
"On estimating interval response data in experimental economics" (with James McDonald and Daniel Walton)
Many empirical applications in the experimental economics literature involve interval response data. Various methods have been considered to treat this type of data. One approach assumes that the data correspond to the interval midpoint and then utilizes ordinary least squares to estimate the model. Another approach is to use maximum likelihood estimation assuming that the underlying variable of interest is normally distributed. In the case of distributional misspecification these estimates can yield inconsistent estimators. In this paper we apply a method which can help reduce the distributional misspecification problem by assuming a distribution which can model a wide variety of distributional characteristics. The methods are applied to the problem of estimating the impact of various explanatory factors associated with individual discount rates in a field experiment. The underlying data exhibit skewness and heteroskedastiticy, which is inconsistent with the assumption of normality and impacts the parameter estimates and conclusions.
"The Other 1%: Class Contamination and Voting for Redistribution"
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.
"Gender Quotas, Stigma, and Symbolic Representation: Experimental Evidence from Uganda"
Legislative quotas for women are hypothesized to increase women's view of themselves as potential political leaders through their symbolic representation function. Yet, the extensive psychology literature on affirmative action raises the question of whether quota policies actually generate a "stigma of incompetence" that leads to lower levels of confidence and ambition. Thus, it remains unclear whether quota policies ultimately help or harm women's view of themselves as prospective political leaders. Hence, we perform a field experiment with 522 female Makarere University students in Kampala, Uganda that measures the effect on political ambition of reminding participants of the reserved seats for women in Uganda politics. Students were invited to a candidate training seminar using a neutral invitation or one that primes participants to consider the quota policy. We measured self-reported interest in attending the seminar, along with registration and attendance data. We also recorded participants' oral free-response to a question regarding why they were or were not interested in running for office. We find that the quota treatment had little effect on women's revealed political ambition, which suggests that neither the optimistic claims of quota proponents nor the pessimistic claims of quota skeptics are at play in Uganda.
"Sharing as risk pooling in a social dilemma experiment" (with Lance Howe and Jim Murphy)
In rural economies with missing or incomplete markets, idiosyncratic risk is frequently pooled through informal networks. Idiosyncratic shocks, however, are not limited to private goods but can also restrict an individual from benefiting from a collective activity. In these situations, a group must decide whether to provide insurance to the affected member. In this paper, we describe results of a field experiment in Kamchatka, Russia designed to test whether a simple sharing institution can sustain risk pooling in a social dilemma with idiosyncratic risk. We test whether risk can be pooled without a commitment devise and, separately, whether effective risk pooling induces greater cooperation in the social dilemma. We find that even in the absence of a commitment device or reputaional considerations, subjects voluntarily pool risk thereby reducing variance in individual earnings. In spite of effective risk pooling, however, cooperation in the social dilemma is unaffected.
Published & Working Papers
Olga B. Stoddard