Christine L. Exley, Judd B. Kessler

In job applications, job interviews, performance reviews, and a wide range of other environ-ments, individuals are explicitly asked or implicitly invited to assess their own performance. In a series of experiments, we find that women rate their performance less favorably than equally performing men. This gender gap in self-promotion is notably persistent. It stays just as strong when we eliminate gender differences in confidence about performance and when we eliminate strategic incentives to engage in self-promotion. Because of the prevalence of self-promotion opportunities, this self-promotion gap may contribute to the persistent gender gap in education and labor market outcomes.

Publication Type  
Working Paper
File Description  
First version, September 27, 2019
JEL Codes  
J16: Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
J60: Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies: General
C92: Design of Experiments: Laboratory; Group Behavior
gender gap
performance incentives