Competition and gender in the lab vs field: Experiments from off-grid renewable energy entrepreneurs in Rural Rwanda

Rebecca Afua Klege, Martine Visser, Manuel F. Barron A., Rowan P. Clarke

Resultado de la investigación: Contribución a una revistaArtículo de revista revisión exhaustiva


We examine how gender attitudes and performance under competitive situations in the lab reflect microenterprise outcomes in the renewable energy sector of Rwanda – a country with progressive gender policies despite its traditional patriarchal setup. We adopt the standard Niederle and Vesterlund (2007) experimental design in addition to a unique dataset from off-grid microenterprises, managed by entrepreneurs who were working in mixed and single-sex teams prior to the lab experiments. After a piece-rate and a tournament compensation schemes, participants are offered to the opportunity to choose their compensation scheme between these two options in a third round. We find that female entrepreneurs are not less likely to compete and are not outperformed by male entrepreneurs. This stands in contrast to several studies, mostly conducted on university students of developed countries. Furthermore, we leverage administrative and self-reported business data to show that the female entrepreneurs who chose to compete in the lab perform as well as their male counterparts, providing some external validity to our lab results.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo101662
PublicaciónJournal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics
EstadoPublicada - abr 2021

Nota bibliográfica

Funding Information:
We thank Energia Gender and Energy Research Program funding toward the RA 5 project. We also acknowledge additional funds from Environment for Development (EFD) and Economics Research Southern Africa (ERSA). Special thanks to our implementation partners in Rwanda: Nuru energy and Innovation for Poverty Action (IPA) for their assistance throughout our fieldwork. This project was reviewed and approved by both the University of Cape Town Ethics Review Committee and the Rwandan National Ethics Committee. We also acknowledge valuable comments from the Sustainable Energy Transition Initiative (SETI) network.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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