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Can personality explain what is underlying women’s unwillingness to compete?

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  • Müller, Julia
  • Schwieren, Christiane

Abstract

There is ample evidence that women do not react to competition as men do and are less willing to enter a competition than men. In this paper, we use personality variables to understand the underlying motives of women (and men) to enter a competition or avoid it. We use the Big Five personality factors, where especially neuroticism has been related to performance in achievement settings. We first test whether scores on the Big Five are related to performance in our experiment, and second how this is related to incentives. We can show that the sex difference in the willingness to enter a competition is mediated by neuroticism and further that neuroticism is negatively related to performance in competiton. This raises the possibility that those women who do not choose competitive incentives “know” that they should not.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 33 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 448-460

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:33:y:2012:i:3:p:448-460

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

Related research

Keywords: Gender; Personality; Big Five; Five-factor model; Competition; Experiment;

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  1. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Anders Poulsen & Marie Claire Villeval, 2013. "Gender Matching And Competitiveness: Experimental Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 816-835, 01.
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  3. Juan Camilo Cárdenasl & Anna Dreber & Emma von Essen & Eva Ranehill, 2010. "Gender Differences in Competitiveness and Risk Taking: Comparing Children in Colombia and Sweden," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 007719, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
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  15. Wozniak, David, 2009. "Choices About Competition: Differences by gender and hormonal fluctuations, and the role of relative performance feedback," MPRA Paper 21097, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  19. Günther, Christina & Ekinci, Neslihan Arslan & Schwieren, Christiane & Strobel, Martin, 2010. "Women can't jump?--An experiment on competitive attitudes and stereotype threat," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 395-401, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Antonio FILIPPIN & Paolo CROSETTO, 2014. "A Reconsideration of Gender Differences in Risk Attitudes," Departmental Working Papers 2014-01, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  2. Werner Bönte & Monika Piegeler, 2013. "Gender gap in latent and nascent entrepreneurship: driven by competitiveness," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 961-987, December.
  3. Becchetti, Leonardo & Degli Antoni, Giacomo & Ottone, Stefania & Solferino, Nazaria, 2013. "Allocation criteria under task performance: The gendered preference for protection," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 96-111.
  4. Seda Ertac & Mehmet Y. Gurdal, 2012. "Personality, Group Decision-Making and Leadership," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1227, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
  5. Sproten, Alec N. & Schwieren, Christiane, 2012. "Age differences in the reaction to incentives – do older people avoid competition?," Working Papers 0522, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  6. Paolo Crosetto & Antonio Filippin & Janna Heider, 2013. "A Study of Outcome Reporting Bias Using Gender Differences in Risk Attitudes," CESifo Working Paper Series 4466, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Ernesto Reuben & Matthew Wiswall & Basit Zafar, 2013. "Preferences and biases in educational choices and labor market expectations: shrinking the black box of gender," Staff Reports 627, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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