The importance of being confident; gender, career choice, and willingness to compete
AbstractThis study investigates the extent to which gender differences in choosing to enter competitive tournaments are due to women's lower taste for competition or differences in confidence. We examine three types of confidence and find that confidence measured by expected ranking is the most important determinant of decisions to enter tournaments. Conditional on ability, this measure eliminates gender differences in winner-take-all tournaments and, when entered with risk measures, eliminates differences in ranked compensation tournaments. When the sample is split by career choice, there are no gender differences for students in STEM fields, and in the humanities and the social sciences differences can be explained by confidence. However, for business school students, gender differences in willingness to compete in winner-take-all tournaments persist even after accounting for risk aversion and confidence. Men in business set themselves apart from the rest of the population (men and women alike) with the highest levels of tournament entry and the most positive performance responses to competition.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.
Volume (Year): 83 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo
Gender; Confidence; Competition; Risk aversion; Business major; STEM major;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Economics; Underlying Principles
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
- J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
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