This article examines the (differential) effects of status ranking on men's and women's performance. It first recognizes that status ranking might be implicit or explicit. Then, it theoretically studies and predicts the gender effects of both types of status ranking and how these effects might vary with culture. Finally, an empirical analysis is presented based on conducting the same experimental design in three culturally different countries, i.e., Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. The experimental results provide evidence that both the type of status ranking and culture matter. When status ranking is explicit, strong gender differences in performance are observed. In more masculine and competitive environments like the Italian and the Spanish, women perform significantly worse than men. Importantly however, cultural beliefs about gender are not sufficient to drive gender differences when these beliefs are the basis for implicitly inferred status ranking among men and women. It appears that more is needed for gender inequality to kick in than an implicit inference from status characteristics.
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- Status ranking