Monday, June 13, 2011

Are Women Better Hedge Fund Managers?

On National Public Radio this morning, Brian Lehrer interviewed ABC News legal analyst, Dan Abrams, about his new book,  Man Down:  Proof Beyond A Reasonable Doubt That Women Are Better Cops, Drivers, Gamblers, Spies, World Leaders, Beer Tasters, Hedge Fund Managers And Just About Everything Else.

Women make up over half of the global population, but represent less than 15% of heads of state.   Yet, Abrams believes that the world just might be a better place if women were in charge.  Why? Because studies show that women are better than men in many roles. 

Worldwide studies have shown that countries with more women legislators are less corrupt.

From 1981 to 2009, US laws passed by female legislators were more popular and they got more money for their consituents.  Women also passed more laws than male legislators.

Only 3% of hedge fund managers are women, yet female managers get consistently higher returns.
Women are more effective sports gamblers than men.

Women videogamers who get obsessed with gaming are less likely than their male counterparts to become dysfunctional. 

Compared with men, women are 10% more accurate hammering nails.

Women are better beer-tasters because they have a better sense of smell.

Even being struck by lightning is more likely to happen to men.   From 1998 until 2008, 82% of those struck by lightning were men.  Perhaps because they take more risks during thunderstorms, for example staying out on the golf course too long and other more reckless conduct?.

This book raises some important and critical questions:  

How accurate is the science associated with these findings?  

Are the results based on just one study or multiple studies?

Is it sexist to say that women are better leaders, executives, news broadcasters, legislators, etc than men?  When someone says men are better than women at certain tasks, there are cries of sexism.

Perhaps one of the most interesting studies cited in Abrams's book is this:

One large survey asked to rate men and women on the most important of characteristics for world leaders --honesty, ambition, creativity, etc..   Women scored higher than men on 7 out of the 8, all except ambition.  However, if you ask the same people if they would prefer a male or female leader, they answer MEN!

Here is a link to Abrams's blog and book information:

The interview with Abrams: