Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center

FREE Policy Brief: Does Gender Diversity Actually Matter?

Measuring the effects of gender diversity on performance is important to understand the impact of gender quotas. However, the effects of gender diversity remain understudied. We need data with a reliable assessment of team member quality to disentangle the effects of diversity from compositional effects (when higher-quality women replace mediocre men). We use the unique database of the trivia game “What? Where? When?” which has information on both the performance and gender composition of the team and allows to track each player individually. We find that the gender diversity of the team has no statistically significant effect once we control for the quality of each player. In this particular environment, with little evidence of gender discrimination, instruments like gender quotas have no merit. This result does not apply to discriminatory environments where gender quotas could bring benefits through compositional effects.